Saturday, January 2, 2010

Latkes, Gefilte Fish, and Cholent... Oh my!

I really enjoy cooking. I think most of my friends and family know that. It's a creative process that leads to a happy tummy.

Last weekend I made a traditional Shabbat meal that I had been craving for a while. I wanted gefilte fish really bad, and not the stuff that comes in a jar at the grocery store. So I made it with tuna. My hubby was really happy. It tasted so good I wanted to post the recipe.

Janine's Baked Gefilte Fish
Ingredients: Three cans of albacore, 1 cup of crushed crackers (or matzo meal), 3 eggs, onion, carrot. Take the ingredients and blend in a processor. I use a loaf pan and and spread pasta sauce or salsa in the bottom of the pan. Spread the fish mixture in the pan and spread smooth. Layer some more pasta sauce or salsa and bake for an hour at 350 degrees. If it still looks a bit loose or wet, then allow to cook for another 15 minutes. Cut into slices and garnish with horseradish.

My mother came for a visit and she was craving latkes. She hadn't had good ones since I lived at home. The only problem was that she really can't eat fried food. So I had a crazy idea. Is it possible to bake latkes? Yes. I realize that the whole point of eating latkes during Hanukkah is because they are fried in oil.

Well, I baked latkes and they tasted really good!

1 1/2 lbs of potatoes
small onion
large egg
1 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbs flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray. I use a food processor to grate potatoes and onions. Then I stick the mixture in a colander and squeeze all the moisture out. Put into a large bowl, add egg, baking powder, flour, salt and pepper.

Once they have been placed on the baking sheet forming about 3 inch pancakes. (about three tbs of potato mixture). Bake for 2o minutes until the bottom is light brown. Turn the pancakes with a spatula and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

Serve at once with sour cream, apple sauce and/or ketchup.


Like gefilte fish, this is an acquired taste. Cholent is a special thing that you put into a crockpot so that you don't have to cook anything on Saturday.

Each and every pot of cholent is different. I doubt I have ever made the same exact cholent.

The basic rule:
Find some dry beans. Kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, pinto beans, or anything like that. You can add meat or omit it. I've never added chicken as it would turn into something scary cooking for so many hours. If you have a really tough chunk of beef or roast, you can put that. I like cholent with meat, but I don't always have it to add. Then you can add onions, carrots, potatoes. You can cut into large chunks. Then I add some type of tomato product. Tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, or tomato crushed or puree. Then add some type of spice. Salt and pepper is best, but you can add curry or chile peppers (jalapenos, green chiles, or even chipotle.)
Put it all in a pot and cover with water or broth. I always just use water. Please remember to add a lot of water since the beans are dry and will soak it all up. Don't be afraid, it will all be absorbed in the morning. Plug in the crock pot and put on low. You'll smell it when you wake up.

Let me know if you try any of these recipes! Happy cooking!


  1. I'll have to take your word for it that they are tasty.Although the latkes you made last year were delicious. The other two don't sound like something I would try. I love your new background though. I was just thinking I need to change mine, new year, new look.

  2. You are brave my daughter! I love your cooking, but unless I eat what you make I doubt I would take the time to try them for myself.

    I now crave Indian food. First after going to Maharaja in Lubbock and then after eating your chicken. You should really post THAT recipe. It was so delicious I am salivating as I type.

    Bon Apetit


  3. You must have the magic touch. Or, maybe I am just a bad cook...

    When Lance and I were at the lake cottage recently I tried the gefelte recipe (with the frozen loaf I get in Dallas). I did it just like you told me (when you were here for a Shabbat one time), but, it was gross, horrible, and even Lance, with his good manners wouldn't eat it. Oy! No more gefelte fish for us - unless you are visiting us and will make it.