Hanukkah (also spelled Chanukah) is the festival of lights, celebrating the freedom of the Jewish people from the Greek rule over 2200 years ago.
The story is that a tyrant king from Damascus ruled over the Jews and forced them to worship Greek g-ds. Jewish rebels fought for their freedom for three years and reclaimed the holy temple in Jerusalem. To rededicate the temple, they needed oil to light the menorah but could only find enough to keep the flames burning for one night. Miraculously the oil lasted for eight days. In that time, they were able to make more oil and keep the eternal flame lit.
It’s customary to eat foods cooked in oil like potato pancakes (aka latkes) to remind us of the miracle that happened in Israel when the small amount of oil to light the Temple’s menorah lasted eight nights.
Potato Pancakes (AKA Latkes)
Choose organic ingredients when available:
- 2 Russet potatoes, organic
- 6 ounces yellow onion (or 3/4 medium yellow onion)
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup unbleached *white whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Into a large bowl, grate potatoes on large holes of a box grater. Remove peel and cut off ends of onion. Grate the onion on large holes of the box grater into bowl with potato. Crack eggs into bowl. Add flour, salt and pepper. Thoroughly mix.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat. Add 3 to 4 large spoonfuls (about ¼ cup each) of latke mixture to hot pan. Gently flatten. Cook 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until latkes are golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and repeat process, making a total of 12 to 16 pancakes. Serve potato pancakes with natural applesauce and/or plain yogurt. Serves 4.
*What is white whole wheat flour?
White whole-wheat flour is made from hard white spring or winter wheat, which has the exact same nutritional value of whole-wheat flour, but because of the variety used, has a milder flavor and paler color. Whole-wheat flour is made from hard red spring or winter wheat, which has a nutty, hearty taste.