Sunday, December 09, 2007

God wants you to eat fried food.

Eating fried food is definitely a big factor in why I love Hanukah. Apart from the fun songs and the chocolates shaped like coins, you basically stuff your gob for eight days with fried food. Anything fried is part of the divine trinity of things I just love. 1. Chocolate; 2. Fried Foods; 3. Pizza.

I don't like, however, to fry food, so I leave that up to others... For the last few Hanukahs, my very good friend, Elana, has hosted a party. I love going to her parties. She has a nice mix of intelligent and eclectic friends. Going to Elana's parties also means trying out new dishes I am dying to make; my rugelach made their debut there -- also Nigella's lemon gems, and her eggplant dip. The truth of the matter is is that Elana is my only friend in New York, as sad as that sounds, so it really is only at her parties that I get to debut anything -- good thing she is as social as she is. But, this year, she's taken her social ass to India for a vacation -- how dare she!? So, I would have to get my soufganiot (Hanukah delicacy - jelly doughnuts) fix somewhere else. Elana's soufganiot rock, though. I would come to her Hanukah party a couple of hours before anyone else, and help her prepare the doughnuts... She would fry, I would stab them with jelly. And then sprinkle them with powdered sugar.

My mother would also make soufganiot, but the dough was never made fresh -- so they never really tasted authentic. Soufganiot are a big thing in Israel; pretty much every corner would be filled with the smell of fried sweet dough. The smell was intoxicating. Something about it smells like home. I've spent two Hanukahs as an adult in Israel. My first one was when I was 20. I remember getting a huge soufganiya at the bus station in Beer Sheva. Topped with so much powdered sugar that I accidentally inhaled up my nose.

My mother this year asked if I had a yeasted dough recipe for the soufganiot. I did, interestingly... Nigella's. It's kind of funny that every recipe for anything I do is Nigella's, more or less, but is it my fault that that woman is a genius?!

So, I made the dough for Nigella's Mini Jelly Doughnuts recipe in her Hanukah chapter in Feast. It was really easy to make. I let it proof at home, and then brought it to my mom all wrapped up and ready to do. At my mom's, I rolled out the dough and cut circles for my mom to dot with jam.
It's a good thing she was doing that as I am not that dexterous; I really made a mess of the soufganiya I tried to assemble. And into the bath of hot oil they went. I don't get deep frying; I mean, I get that you need to know the temperature of the oil, otherwise the outside cooks faster than the inside, but does it really have to be that annoying. Even though I'm totally inept at deep-frying anything, I did manage to get some nicely golden puffy doughnuts.

Liam seemed to enjoy them... And then he started to lick the sugar off each one... LOL.

"Don't look at me -- it was the dog!"

My mom was really pleased with them too. :)

"My daughter is just about the cleverest, loveliest person I know. I'm so lucky to be her mom." (But said in Russian.)

1 comment:

Georgina Ingham | CulinaryTravels said...

Now I'm craving doughnuts!! Oh they looked so good I could almost taste them. Yum :)

George xxx