There were 14 Levines at our pre-Hanukkah party. My family likes to talk (a lot), so I'm sure the din could be heard up and down West End Avenue. As I wrote yesterday, I couldn't find a brisket for us to cook, so I came up with an alternate revisionist Hanukkah menu.
I decided to to utilize latkes three ways:
1. Traditional, using the tried-and-true (and terrific) Lydie Marshall recipe from her fabulous book, A Passion for Potatoes.
2. Latkes with Smoked Salmon, Creme Fraiche, and Chives. I basically stole this concept from Wolfgang Puck. Puck topped them with caviar, but I decided that was gilding the lily.
3. Latkes with brisket, horseradish sauce, and chopped chive. I bought a pound and a half of brisket at the take-out counter at Fairway along with a bottle of Bookbinder's horseradish sauce. This isn't an original combination, but it sure is tasty when it's topping a potato latke.
4. For dessert my wife made her favorite lemon cake recipe from the Silver Palate.
It was a huge hit. Everyone loved it except one of my brothers, who felt we were messing with tradition a little too much with these newfangled latkes. Next year I might go totally radical and serve latkes topped by prosciutto and mascarpone cheese. I just don't don't know if I'll get the rabbinical easement necessary to pull this dish off in guilt-free fashion.
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