It’s true. I have a massive girl crush on Paula Shoyer. I can’t help it. She just so…smart, nice, kind, thoughtful, hard working, thorough, precise, educated, helpful, considerate, empathetic, encouraging, creative…oh and did I mention kind and smart? She’s a “healthy chef with a passion for pastries”. A woman after my own heart. I have the privilege of calling Paula a fellow foodie, and she is really an inspiration.
At our recent Kosher Food Media Conference, Paula was one of the keynote speakers. She spoke about publishing a cookbook. She talked about the elaborate process she goes through to test each recipe herself, about having each recipe tested and retested by others, meticulously reviewing the language and specifications of each recipe. For Paula, it’s not just labor, but a labor of love. In engineering speak, this is a six sigma cookbook! And so…I have a massive girl crush on Paula Shoyer.
I was exceptionally excited when Paula came out with her fourth new book “The Healthy Jewish Kitchen”. It might seem like “Healthy Jewish Kitchen” is an oxymoron. Let me tell you…Paula is no moron! The Healthy Jewish Kitchen is filled with delicious, healthier options for today’s home chefs. Who wouldn’t want to eat a Winter Red Salad, or Israeli Herb and Almond Salad, Sourdough Challah, and Shnitzel with Nut Crust. There are menu suggestions for those that need a little planning help for the holidays. The recipes are made with only natural and nutritious ingredients. The color photos for the recipes are beautiful. I’m not the only one that loves this book…Paula was a featured guest just this week on Good Morning Washington!!!!! How cool is that???
In honor of Chanukah I, like everyone else who loves Paula Shoyer and The Healthy Jewish Kitchen’s recipes, am making Potato and Scallion Latkes with Pickled Apple Sauce – from scratch!!! One of the things I really liked about this recipe is that you can use a food processor (whew…that makes things way easier), and you can keep the skins on the washed potatoes – no potato peeling. The ingredients are given in quantity and weight/volume. If the recipe calls for 3 medium potatoes, you can make sure that you really have 3 medium potatoes by weighing them. If you’re like me you will realize that the 3 potatoes are really small potatoes and actually don’t make up the necessary pound and a half needed (as indicated with the quanitity of three medium potatoes). Good thing that was specified!
The latkes are baked, not fried – so they are lower in fat and calories right from the start. Did I mention they were incredibly delicious? Tasty. Crispy. Fresh. Potatoey!!! My only advice (which I always give), is to make sure to read the recipe all the way through, and have all the ingredients on hand before you start. Thanks Paula – this recipe is pretty foolproof (a.k.a Sharon-proof!). The Pickled Apple Sauce was so uniquely interesting, and yummy. Someone hid my cinnamon sticks (really they did…I had them…they just weren’t where they were supposed to be) so I ended up substituting a little ground cinnamon instead. Sorry Paula – it still came out great though.
I’m starting my own little Paula Shoyer fan club here in Chicago. I’ve already got a few members…want to join? Here’s a link to the membership form (the picture is a link -click it!!):
This is an awesome book – I really can’t recommend it highly enough. Click the link…get the book! Oh, and if you still need some Chanukah gifts…click the link!!! It comes right to your door. It doesn’t get easier than that – and it’s healthy too!!!And just so you know – I didn’t get paid to do this review (really!)., Paula gave me her book…and that was enough for me. I think it has something to do with the platonic girl crush thing….
Here’s the recipe just in time for the rest of Chanukah:Print
Pareve, Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Passover
- 2 tablespoons sunflower of safflower oil, or more if needed
- 1/2 medium onion, quartered
- 3 scallions, ends trimmed, cut into thin slices or chopped into small pieces
- 3 medium potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds [700g]), scrubbed clean and unpeeled
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- PICKLED APPLESAUCE
- 1 teaspoon sunflower or safflower oil
- 1/3 cup red onions, chopped into 1/4 inch (6-mm) pieces
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 apples, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) cubes
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch black pepper
- To make the latkes, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- When the oven is hot, pour 2 tablespoons of oil onto 2 jelly roll pans and turn them in every direction so that the oil coats the pans. Heat the pans in the oven for 5 minutes.
- Place the onions and scallions in the bowl of a food processor and chop them into small pieces. Place them in a medium bowl. Shred the potatoes by hand on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor with the shredding blade, and place in the bowl. Add the lemon juice, eggs, baking powder, potato starch, salt and pepper and mix well.
- Very carefully (I mean really carefully, move very slowly) remove one of the pans and use your hands or a spoon to scoop up and drop clumps of the potato mixture, a little less than 1/4 cup, onto the pan. I use my hands. Press the mixture down to flatten a little.
- Place the pan in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes and immediately remove the second oiled pan. Repeat the same process with the remaining potato mixture and bake the second pan of latkes for 10 to 12 minutes. Bake them until the edges are well browned, and then with a slotted spatula turn them over and cook the latkes for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until the bottoms are browned. May be made 2 days in advance and reheated in the oven.
- Meanwhile, to make the applesauce, heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook them for 3 minutes, until they soften. Add the vinegar and brown sugar and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the apples, coriander, ginger, cinnamon stick, salt and pepper, and cook covered on low heat for 15 minutes, or until the apples are soft. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes and then puree it, using an immersion blender or a food processor. May be made 4 days in advance and served warm or cold.
- Serving Size: 6
Happy Chanukah everyone!!!