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Hanukkah Special: A Little Oil Goes a Long Way
My favorite latke recipe
Hanukkah is such a lovely holiday. I adore almost everything about it, especially the songs. My only issue is sufganiyot, aka the doughnuts. I never understood the appeal of those heavy, slightly greasy, jelly filled bombs that give you heartburn and contain 600 calories a piece.
During Hanukkah we eat fried foods to commemorate the miracle of oil – a tiny jug of oil that kept the Temple menorah alight for 8 days. It must have been a very economical little menorah, what we’d now call 'environmentally sound'.
In the spirit of Hanukkah (and sustainability), I decided to skip the deep fried doughnuts and go for a less oil intensive holiday classic – latkes. Orna and Ella's sweet potato latkes involve frying, but just like the legendary menorah, they take a little oil (or rather butter) a long, long way.
"Orna and Ella", a much loved Tel Aviv restaurant-cafe, serves around 700 sweet potato latkes per day (and that’s year-round!). Very few dishes from Israeli restaurants have ever attained such cult status. They arrive at the table warm, orangey-brown, delicately sweet and accompanied by a fresh and lovely chive-rich dipping sauce.
The recipe is deceivingly simple, but does take some practice. The result is a perfect dish to serve at the candle lighting ceremony as a first course to, or instead of, the doughnuts. Check it out and send me your cooking notes!