Pop Quiz

As I hauled my recipe notebook to the kitchen yesterday (Oh, now that is another topic entirely: The notebooks. The notebook in question travels from the kitchen to the computer and back again many times each day, but it’s never, really never in the room it should be in. Isn’t there a cornering pulley system perfect for this? And the pencil thing. How many times have I put the pencil in the flour canister on accident? I must try tying it to a string and anchoring the string to the ceiling. Anyway.) I flipped through its pages, and giggled at my notes. They read like made-up airport codes on a round-the-world airline ticket. So this, scribbled under “ideas”:

2X YG POT w SDT & PRB

Means I want to make twice-baked Yukon Gold potatoes with sundried tomatoes and that Point Reyes blue cheese we still have. Only, because Yukies wouldn’t normally be considered a good potato for twice-baking, thin skins and all, I’d have to play with the idea – maybe bake them once, then mash them with the other stuff, like make-ahead mashed potatoes, then bake it all again before serving?

Anyway, a quiz for you today, derived from the chicken scratch that is my recipe notebook. Here are some examples of own weird version of shorthand. Most are ingredients I’ve inadvertently created acronyms for to safe time while I’m taking notes, but some have to do with recipes’ cooking instructions. Take a gander, if you’d like – answers after the jump.

1. PTLP

2. R&D

3. C/S

4. MHH

5. FCHF

6. EVOO (I didn’t say I like her, but it’s convenient.)

7. WGM

8. RWV

9. FSLJ

10. RPF

Looking through the pages, I find it curious what things roll onto the paper naturally, every time, even thought they’d be so much easier to write if I created an acronym. I always write out “preheat oven to . . .” Seems like it should be dead obvious to write “PO” at the beginning of every recipe instead, but the mind is never predictable, I guess.

Today, a recipe for Hanukkah, which begins Tuesday at sundown:

Sweet Potato Carrot Latkes

Sweet Potato-Carrot Latkes (PDF)
Recipe 337 of 365

I wouldn’t go so far as to call traditional Hanukkah latkes boring, but you have to admit, they’re sometimes lacking in . . .well, chutzpah. Here’s a sweet potato and carrot version, improved, I think, with a touch of curry and just enough spice to round the flavor out. Serve them right out of the pan, topped with sour cream or applesauce, or keep them warm in the oven as you cook them, and serve all at once.

TIME: 30 minutes total
MAKES: 4 servings

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled
1/2 pound carrots, peeled
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup flour
3 eggs, whisked to blend
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Vegetable oil, for frying

Using a food processor or a box grater, shred the sweet potatoes and carrots. Transfer them to a mixing bowl, along with the remaining ingredients (except the oil), and stir to blend.

Heat a large, heavy frying pan over medium heat. Add oil until it comes about 1/2” up the pan. When a bit of the potato mixture dropped into the oil sizzle madly, it’s ready. Drop the potato batter by 1/4 cupfuls into the oil, and fry four minutes per side, or until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to dry briefly, and serve hot. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, adding more oil to the pan, if necessary.

1. PTLP: paper towel-lined plate

2. R&D: rinsed and drained, as in beans

3. C/S: cook, stirring

4. MHH: medium-high heat

5. FCHF: finely-chopped fresh (as in herbs, garlic, ginger)

6. EVOO: extra-virgin olive oil

7. WGM: whole-grain mustard

8. RWV: red wine vinegar

9. FSLJ: freshly-squeezed lemon juice

10. RPF: red pepper flakes

4 Comments

Filed under recipe, side dish, vegetables

4 responses to “Pop Quiz

  1. Hooray! Alternative latkes for alternative Hanukkah celebrations! THIS I’ve got to try (or make Garrett try for me)! YUM!

  2. I’d recommend peanut oil instead of vegetable oil. Better flavor and better smokepoint.

  3. One other thing… if you have guests (or kids) with egg allergies, substitute 6 tablespoons of potato starch mixed with 6 tablespoons of water for the eggs. Some people I’ve fed my eggless latkes to say they prefer the eggless method.

  4. Good points, Greg! I like peanut oil, too, but didn’t have enough . . .either works!

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