Recipes: potato latkes, pork chops from 'This is a Cookbook'

Decewmber 5, 2012 (CHICAGO)

Max and Eli work at different restaurants in Brooklyn, but wrote "This Is A Cookbook" together.

  • Latkes with Lots of Sauces

    Our dad makes these every year on Hanukkah. And he makes a huge mess. He puts newspapers on the floor, uses every burner, and the whole house smells bad for a week. But they are super delicious and we had to include them in our book. We make them almost every weekend. We had our dad test the recipe.
    Yield: Serves 4-6

    For the lox sauce
    1 cup (8 oz/250 g) sour cream
    3 oz (90 g) lox, diced
    1 Tbsp minced fresh chives

    For the applesauce
    1 cup (9 oz/280 g) applesauce
    1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
    1 Tbsp light brown sugar
    1 Tbsp granulated sugar
    1 tsp ground ginger

    4 Russet potatoes, peeled
    1 yellow onion, minced
    3 large eggs, lightly beaten
    1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz/45 g) plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
    2 Tbsp minced fresh chives
    1 garlic clove, minced
    Salt and freshly ground pepper

    Olive oil for frying

    1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (95°C). Fit a baking sheet with a wire rack and set aside.

    2. To make the sauces, stir together the ingredients for each in separate small bowls. Transfer to serving dishes and refrigerate.

    3. Using the large holes on a box grater, shred the potatoes into a large bowl of water. Drain the potatoes and rinse under cold running water. Drain again thoroughly, squeezing to remove as much liquid as possible. Transfer the potatoes to a clean kitchen towel and squeeze to dry even further, and then place in a large bowl. Wrap the minced onion in a double thickness of paper towels, squeeze to remove as much moisture as possible, and add to the bowl. Add the eggs, flour, chives, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste and stir to mix well.

    4. Pour the oil into a large frying pan to a depth of about 1/2 inch (12 mm) and heat over medium heat. Using your hands, scoop up a portion of the potato mixture and shape it into a ball slightly larger than a golf ball. Flatten into a very thin pancake, still blotting with paper towels as needed to remove any remaining moisture, and place in the hot oil. Repeat to add 2 or 3 more latkes to the pan, making sure not to overlap them or crowd the pan. Cook until golden brown on the first side, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spatula, turn the latkes and cook until golden brown on the second side, 2-3 minutes longer. Transfer to the wire rack on the baking sheet and place the baking sheet in the warm oven. Repeat to cook the remaining latkes, adding them to the oven as they are finished. When all of the latkes are cooked, serve right away with the sauces.

  • Pork Chops with Apple Chutney

    For the Brine
    2/3 cup sugar
    2/3 cup salt
    1 fresh thyme sprig
    1 fresh rosemary sprig
    1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
    1 teaspoon coriander seeds
    Ice cubes

    3 bone-in, double-cut pork chops, about 4 pounds total weight
    1 tablespoon canola oil
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 fresh rosemary sprig
    1 fresh thyme sprig
    1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
    Apple Chutney, for serving


    1. To make the brine, in a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts water to a boil over high heat. Add the sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Stir in the herb sprigs, peppercorns, and coriander seeds and remove from the heat. Add about 2 quarts ice and stir to melt. Refrigerate until completely cooled, about 2 hours.

    2. Add the pork chops to the brine and weight down with plates or heavy canned goods. Let brine in the fridge for 24 hours. Remove the chops and pat dry with paper towels. Let come to room temperature for at least 1 hour before cooking (this will help the chops cook evenly throughout).

    3. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, sear the chops until they are nicely browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Add the butter to the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let the butter melt. Using a large spoon, baste the chops with butter constantly for about 5 minutes, tilting the pan as needed, and using tongs to flip the chops about every 2 minutes. Add the herb sprigs and garlic clove during the last 2 or 3 minutes of cooking to infuse the pan juices with their flavors. Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of each chop away from bone registers 125 degrees. Transfer the chops to a platter, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.

    4. To serve, carve the meat off the bone into thick slices. Arrange the slices on dinner plates. Stir any juices left on the platter into the pan sauce and drizzle over the top. Spoon some chutney on top or alongside and serve right away.

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