Ninth night

Here at Tortfeeder HQ, we like to celebrate the ninth night of Hanukkah. It’s how we roll. And with latkes like these, we may celebrate 365 nights.

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Adam and Maxine’s Famous Latkes (Bon Appétit)

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds large russet potatoes (4-6)
  • 1 medium Vidalia, yellow, or brown onions (about 2)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup fine plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) schmaltz (chicken fat; optional)
  • 2-4 tablespoons (or more) vegetable oil
  • Applesauce
  • Sour cream

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 325°. Peel potatoes. Using the large holes of a box grater or the grater disk on a food processor, grate potatoes and onions. Transfer to a large kitchen towel. Gather ends of towel; twist over sink and squeeze firmly to wring out as much liquid as possible. Open towel; toss mixture to loosen. Gather towel; wring out once more.
  • Whisk eggs, breadcrumbs, salt, baking powder, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend. Add potato mixture. Using your fingers, mix until well coated. (Latke mixture should be wet and thick, not soupy.)
  • Line a large rimmed baking sheet with several layers of paper towels. Set a wire rack inside another large rimmed baking sheet; set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons schmaltz, if using, and 2 tablespoons oil (or 4 tablespoons oil if not using schmaltz; fat should measure about 1/8 inches) in a 12 inches nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Drop a small amount of latke mixture into pan. If the fat sizzles around the edges, it’s ready. (Do not let fat smoke.)
  • Working in batches and adding more schmaltz and oil to skillet as needed to maintain 1/8 inches fat, drop large spoonfuls of mixture into pan, pressing gently with the back of a spoon or spatula to flatten slightly. (If mixture becomes watery between batches, mix to incorporate; do not drain.)
  • Cook latkes, occasionally rotating pan for even browning, until golden brown and cooked through, 2 1/2-3 minutes per side. (If small pieces of potato floating in the oil start to burn, carefully strain out.)
  • Transfer latkes to paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain, then transfer to prepared wire rack. Place sheet with latkes in oven to keep warm and crisp while cooking remaining latkes.
  • Serve warm latkes with applesauce and sour cream.
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Yes

Make these.

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Cocoa Brownies (Bon Appétit)

Ingredients

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup Scharffen Berger natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 325°. Line an 8x8x2 inches glass baking dish with foil, pressing firmly into pan and leaving a 2 inches overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray; set baking dish aside.
  • Melt butter in a small sauce-pan over medium heat. Let cool slightly. Whisk sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl to combine. Pour butter in a steady stream into dry ingredients, whisking constantly to blend. Whisk in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. Add flour and stir until just combined (do not overmix). Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top.
  • Bake until top begins to crack and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 25-30 minutes.
  • Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool completely in pan. Using foil overhang, lift brownie out of pan; transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.

Roma Sparita

When we were in Rome this summer, we traipsed around with a crumpled piece of paper bearing the recommendations of culinary warrior Anthony Bourdain. We were not led astray. Perhaps the most memorable of these food adventures was our trip to Trastevere’s Roma Sparita, where we became appropriately obsessed with the cacio e pepe (in a BOWL MADE OF CHEESE). When in Rome…for real, people, you’ve got to go to this place and try this dish.

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The inspiration. Sublime.

Had to deal with an emergency cacio e pepe craving yesterday and, fortunately, this recipe satisfied it. Man, that is a good freaking dish! I know many of the recipes on this site tend toward the long and complicated. This one is pretty quick and easy. I recommend watching the video, too.

If you want to compare cacio e pepes, I’ve also made the Barefoot Contessa version, Pasta with Pecorino and Pepper. A blind taste test might be in order. (Funny to look back and see my reference to Roma Sparita in that post. We sure are different people now that we’ve eaten the real thing.)

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The reality. Super tasty.

Cacio e Pepe (Bon Appétit)

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 6 oz. pasta (such as egg tagliolini, bucatini, or spaghetti)
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed, divided
  • 1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Grana Padano or Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino

Preparation

  • Video: Click here to watch Del Posto’s Mark Ladner make cacio e pepe

     

  • Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5-qt. pot. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking water.
  • Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 1 minute.
  • Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer. Add pasta and remaining butter. Reduce heat to low and add Grana Padano, stirring and tossing with tongs until melted. Remove pan from heat; add Pecorino, stirring and tossing until cheese melts, sauce coats the pasta, and pasta is al dente. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Transfer pasta to warm bowls and serve.

Thai Brussels

Hey look, it’s my 200th post! It’s fitting that this post contains brussels sprouts, which we eat a lot these days. I was looking for a new Asian way to make them (since we do the Momofukus A LOT). I had been wanting to try a bunch of things from this Thai article in Bon Appétit, both because they look awesome and because they’re from Portland’s big Thai guy, Andy Ricker of Pok Pok. I also had just bought this great new Thai sticky purple rice. (Pictured in the top left corner.) I think colored rice is gonna be our new thang. It’s how we’ll roll.

This recipe was awesome and not too difficult. I only had dried chiles, so I used those (but dumped out the seeds). Still nice and hot. I wound up with a lot of sauce but it tasted damn good. A new regular!

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Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Chile (Bon Appétit)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups halved brussels sprouts
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 4 teaspoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce, preferably Thai thin soy sauce (such as Healthy Boy)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (or more) 1/8″-thick slices of red Thai chiles
  • Pinch of ground white pepper
  • 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • ingredient info

    Many Thai ingredients and tools can be found at your local Asian market or from thaigrocer.com.

Preparation

  • Blanch brussels sprouts in a large pot of boiling salted water until bright green, about 15 seconds. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and stir until light golden brown, about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a small bowl.
  • Increase heat to high; add brussels sprouts. Stir-fry until they begin to soften, 2–3 minutes. Add oyster sauce and next 5 ingredients. Stir-fry for 30 seconds; add chicken broth. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced slightly, about 2 minutes; add more chiles, if desired. Stir in garlic.

New grain alert

Somebody has a new favorite grain… wheat berries! This was super good and not too time/labor-intensive. Recommend!

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Wheat Berries with Charred Onions and Kale (Bon Appétit)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups wheat berries
  • 2 medium onions, halved, divided
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed, leaves torn into 2-inch pieces (about 8 packed cups)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ingredient info:

    Wheat berries, also called hard wheat, are available at most natural foods stores.

Preparation

  • Combine wheat berries, 1 onion half, thyme sprigs, and 1 Tbsp. salt in a large saucepan; add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until wheat berries are just tender but still firm to the bite, about 35 minutes. Drain; discard onion and thyme. Place wheat berries in a large bowl; let cool.
  • Cut remaining 3 onion halves crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat; add onions. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are charred in spots, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with wheat berries. Add 1 Tbsp. oil to same skillet. Working in 3 batches, add kale and cook, tossing occasionally, sprinkling with salt and pepper, and adding oil as needed between batches, until charred in spots, about 1 minute per batch. Add to bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice and any remaining oil; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Thankful

Lots to be thankful for this year… including these delicious Thanksgiving recipes! Here’s what I made this year.

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Cape Cod Chopped Salad (Barefoot Contessa)

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Brussels Sprouts with Shallots and Salt Pork (Bon Appétit)

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Cornbread, Sausage, and Pecan Dressing (Bon Appétit)

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter plus more for baking dish
  • 1 pound day-old cornbread, broken into 1 1/2-inch–2-inch pieces (9 cups)
  • 1 pound breakfast sausage links, casings removed
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1 1/2 cups 1/4-inch slices celery
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped toasted pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs

Preparation

  • Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 250°. Butter a 13x9x2-inch baking dish; set aside. Scatter cornbread in a single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake, stirring often and rotating sheets halfway through, until dried out, about 1 hour. Let cool. Transfer to a very large mixing bowl.
  • Meanwhile, cook sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up into 1/2-inch–1-inch pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with cornbread but do not stir.
  • Heat 3/4 cup butter in same skillet; add onions and celery and cook, stirring often, until softened and just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add to cornbread in bowl.
  • Return skillet to heat. Add vinegar; cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan, for 1 minute. Pour into bowl with cornbread. Gently fold in 1 1/2 cups broth, pecans, if using, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Add salt and pepper. Let cool.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk 1 1/2 cups broth and eggs in a small bowl. Fold gently into cornbread until thoroughly combined, taking care not to mash cornbread (mixture will look wet). Transfer to prepared dish, cover with foil, and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of dressing registers 160°, about 40 minutes. DO AHEAD Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Uncover; let cool. Cover and chill.
  • Bake dressing, uncovered, until set and top is browned and crisp, 40-45 minutes longer (if chilled, add 10-15 minutes).

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Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp (Barefoot Contessa Parties!)

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds McIntosh or Macoun apples
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 pound cold unsalted butter, diced

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 14 by 2-inch oval baking dish.

Peel, core, and cut the apples into large wedges. Combine the apples with the zests, juices, sugar, and spices. Pour into the dish.

To make the topping, combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas. Scatter evenly over the apples.

Place the crisp on a sheet pan and bake for 1 hour until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly. Serve warm.

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And, of course, the Attractive Nuisance’s family recipe: Chocolate Pecan Pie

Dry run

Since we bought way too many brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving, I figured I’d do a dry run of this new recipe. Good news! We loved it last night and are excited to eat it again tomorrow. Plus, there’s a secret ingredient! Intrigue! Suspense! Bottom line: if you need a last minute non-vegetarian vegetable recipe for the holiday, try this. It’s prett-ay, prett-ay good…
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Brussels Sprouts with Shallots and Salt Pork (Bon Appétit)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup 1/4-inch cubes salt pork or pancetta (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 large shallots, peeled, quartered (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed, trimmed, halved
  • 1-2 tablespoons juice from jarred dill pickles

Preparation

  • Blanch salt pork in a large saucepan of boiling water for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer salt pork to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Set aside. DO AHEAD Salt pork can be blanched 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
  • Cook salt pork in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until about 3/4 cup fat is rendered, 10-12 minutes. Carefully strain drippings into a small bowl; return 2 tablespoons drippings and pork to pan.
  • Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until salt pork is browned and crisp, 5-6 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Add 2 tablespoons drippings to skillet; add shallots, cut sides down. Cook, turning once or twice, until tender and browned, 10-12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer shallots to a serving platter.
  • Increase heat to medium-high. Add 2 tablespoons more salt pork drippings to skillet. Working in 2 batches and adding 2 more tablespoons drippings between batches, cook brussels sprouts, turning occasionally, until tender and browned. Transfer brussels sprouts to platter with shallots. DO AHEAD Shallots and brussels sprouts can be made 1 hour ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm shallots and brussels sprouts together in same skillet over medium heat before continuing.
  • Drizzle shallots and brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon pickle juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon more pickle juice, if desired. Scatter salt pork over.