Culinary Corner: Try some different holiday favorites

| Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, 9:23 p.m.

Both traditional Thanksgiving and the start of the eight-day Chanukah holiday were celebrated last week.

That means there will be plenty of leftover turkey to create meals with. And, for those who ate a wee bit too much of it and want to try something different, here's a great opportunity to explore/teach some different foods to the wee troops who are on a holiday from school.

Here is a recipe that will be a great experience to enjoy making together.

Soofganiot (Chanukah Donuts)

(makes about 1 1 / 2 dozen)

2 packages yeast

3 tablespoons sugar

1/4cup warm water

3 egg yolks

3/4cup cream or half-and-half

1/4cup vegetable shortening, melted

1 teaspoon brandy

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

3 1/2cups all purpose flour (approximately)

raspberry, grape or other jelly for filling

oil for frying

powdered sugar

Stir the yeast and a bit of the sugar into warm water in a medium size bowl. When the yeast bubbles up, stir in the rest of the ingredients. Add enough flour to form a soft dough. Turn out the dough onto a floured board and knead until smooth.

Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with a towel and let rise in a warm area until the size is doubled, about one hour.

“Punch down” the dough and roll it out on a floured surface, into a 14-inch thickness. Cut out circles with a biscuit cutter or cup and place a teaspoon of jelly on the center of half of the circles. Cover with the remaining circles and pinch together at the seams.

Let it rise again for 30 minutes.

Heat the frying oil to 350 degrees. When the doughnuts have risen, fry them several at a time, turning them once. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain them well on paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve them while they are hot for peak enjoyment!

• • •

Probably the second most popular food served at Chanukah meals are those favorite potato pancakes, Latkes, also known as chremslach.

Here is a rendition of this tasty treat that will be a bit healthier to eat if you choose to substitute whole wheat flour.

Cottage Cheese Latkes

(makes 4 to 6 servings)

1 cup flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

4 eggs, beaten

2 cups cottage cheese

oil for frying

Mix the dry ingredients together well. Stir in the eggs and cottage cheese. Lightly oil and warm a griddle or skillet and when hot, drop the batter by heaping tablespoons onto it.

Turn once when a golden “pancake color” has been reached.

When cooked on both sides, remove from the griddle and continue to cook the rest of the latkes, oiling the griddle lightly, keeping the first batch warm.

Serve immediately with applesauce, sour cream and /or fruit preserves.

• • •

This recipe can use breast meat, thigh or leg. Simply cut the turkey into strips. This can be served over rice or even a thin pasta or rice pasta.

Szechuan Stir-Fry

(makes 4 to 6 servings)

1- 1 1/2pounds of cooked turkey meat sliced into strips/medium chunks

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/2teaspoons bottled or fresh minced ginger

1 1/2teaspoons fresh minced garlic

1/2teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

4 ounces Shitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps sliced (or, a 4 ounce package of other fresh special, sliced mushrooms

6 ounces fresh snow pea pods, cut in half if large

1/2cup thinly sliced red pepper strips

1/2cup low-sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons sesame oil

3 cups hot, cooked white rice or vermicelli pasta or rice noodles

1/4cup thinly sliced green onions

In a medium bowl, combine turkey, one tablespoon oil, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes, and then toss well. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat until hot.

Add mushrooms, pea pods and pepper strips, then stir fry them for three minutes. Add the turkey mixture and stir-fry for two minutes.

Combine soy sauce and cornstarch, mixing until smooth. Add mixture to skillet, stir-fry for two minutes or until the turkey is heated through and the sauce has thickened. Stir in the sesame oil and serve over the rice or pasta garnished with the green onions.

As always, enjoy!

David Kelly is a freelance columnist for Trib Total Media. He has been a chef for 40 years and has been sharing cooking tips and recipes in Culinary Corner for 21 years.

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