No-fry Latkes (Oven-Baked Latkes)

Thanks for the responses to the previous post about no-fry latkes. I wound up going with a recipe that my friend Michelle recommended from Kveller, by Zoe Singer. I liked the taste of the latkes, but her method of using aluminum foil had me cursing in front of the stove whenever I tried to flip the latkes.

So I definitely recommend her proportions of onion/egg/potato, etc. But next year, here’s what I’ll be doing to make it easier on myself:

  • Ensure that you have clean oven mitts on hand that cover your entire hand. Because you will be going in and out of the oven a lot, and this will increase the probability that you get burned.
  • Don’t use aluminum foil. Sturdy cookie sheets with rims worked great. (Just make sure they aren’t warped, because otherwise the oil will collect on one side of the pan.)
  • Use the recommended half-cup of oil per cookie sheet. It seems disgusting, but these are latkes, they really do need oil. Hey, it’s Channukah!
  • Make each latke smaller than you think. Each one should be about 1/4 cup of batter.
  • Turn the oven up to 450. I swear that my oven is pretty decent, but the batches I was doing took forever until I turned the oven up a bit.
  • If you’re making more than one batch of the recipe, designate a second in command to help you with checking the latkes. Because you will get sick of it.
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Sounds crazy, no?

No one I know thinks Manischewitz is good for anything except filling Elijah’s cup at Passover. But I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for it. I mean, it tastes like grape juice, but so what? Grape juice is nice. Especially if you dip a piece of challah in it, right?

But since Manischewitz is so cloyingly sweet, it really can’t be consumed like wine. Which means there is almost always some left over. So when Kerry over at Serious Eats proposed making Manischewitz into a granita, I immediately went for the half-drunk bottle that’s been sitting in the back of my parents’ kitchen cabinet.

Because we had half a bottle, we used a smaller pan, but we otherwise followed the (very basic) instructions to the letter. (Essentially, pour and freeze.) Thankfully, the smaller quantity also meant that it froze faster, so we didn’t have to wait nearly as long to taste the concoction. The results were delicious—cold, tasty grape-flavored ice with a litle kick. Martini glasses are absolutely the right thing to serve it in, as it looks very pretty against the glass.

Yes, in the end it’s just frozen Manischewitz, but somehow the formation of ice crystals dress up this overly sweet “wine” into a fun and impressive dessert.