Sufganiot Express

Sufganiot in Hebrew means doughnuts, and they are the Israeli food most connected with Chanukah (in addition to potato latkes). But they are a different kind of doughnuts than the ones you find in the U.S. The original recipe actually comes from Central Europe, probably Germany. They look like the jelly doughnuts you see at DD, but they taste soooo much better. I was planning on posting my amazing sufganiot recipe ahead of Chanukah, so that you guys can actually enjoy it during Chanukah, but I didn’t get to it. I promise I’ll have it up here next year.

In the meantime, I’m posting a different sufganiot recipe, which is very quick and easy to make, hence the name ‘Sufganiot Express’. In fact, these sufganiot are very similar to Italian zeppole. They have a free- form shape and we don’t fill them with jelly, but sprinkle them with powdered sugar (and serve some jelly on the side, just in case). We love these sufganiot just as much as we love the original ones, and since they are quicker to make, we tend to make them more often during Chanukah.

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
4 tbs sugar
2 eggs
8 oz buttermilk
8 oz plain yogurt
1 tbs brandy
1 tsp vanilla extract
Oil for deep frying

Preparation:
In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder and sugar. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix the buttermilk, yogurt, eggs, brandy and vanilla.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, stirring them well using a whisk, until you get a smooth batter.

Fill a pot with about 8 inches deep oil and heat on high heat. To check if the oil is hot enough, through in the pot a small piece of carrot. If the oil bubbles around the carrot, it is ready. Lower the heat to medium-high.

Using a spoon or an ice cream scoop, scoop some batter and very carefully slide it into the oil. Fry the doughnuts for about 2 minutes on each side. The doughnuts usually turn on their own, and it is ok. Just make sure they are cooked long enough.

Remove from the oil and place on a plate covered with paper towel.

Tip – You may want to check the first batch by cutting open one or two doughnuts, to make sure they are not raw in the middle. If so, cook the doughnuts longer on a slightly lower heat.

Plate the doughnuts on a serving dish and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Alternatively, you may mix some sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, and roll the doughnuts to cover them completely.

Looking for some more Chanukah yummies? Check out my Zucchini Mint Latkes and Chickpea Sambousek.

Enjoy, and Happy Chanukah to those who celebrate!

Beef Croquettes – Leftovers Version

Croquettes are usually made from scratch. To make it from scratch, check out my Basic Beef Croquettes recipe.

Today, however, I made them out of leftovers.

I had some leftover ground-meat filling that I made for Koube in Beet Soup, as well as the crust of some bread that I used for the Koube- Middle Eastern Dumplings.

Beef croquettes leftovers

 

Ingredients:

Eye balling the leftover meat mixture, it contained about:
½ lb ground beef
1 small diced onion
1 cup chopped parsley
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
¼ teaspoon baharat for koube
salt and pepper

Additional ingredients:
1 egg
About 1 cup homemade breadcrumb

Preparation:

The leftover meat mixture already had almost all of the ingredients needed to make either croquettes or a meatloaf, but the amount of mixture wasn’t enough for a decent size meatloaf, so I decided on croquettes. All I had to add was an egg and breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs I figured I could make myself, using the leftover bread crust.

beef crockets breadcrumbs

I placed the crust in a food processor and processed it into some kind of breadcrumbs. Some of the harder pieces refused to become tiny crumbs and no matter how long I processed them, they kept their shape and size. I decided to add them to my croquette mixture, anyway, and see what happens.

The next step, which I usually try to avoid doing inside the house, was frying the croquettes. This time, since I only had a small amount of meat, I made an exception, and turned on my indoor stove. I heated some oil in a frying pan (enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan), and while it was heating up, I shaped my croquettes.

You basically take a piece of the meat mixture, the size of a ping pong ball, shape it as a ball between your hands, then press it a little to flatten it and give it an oval shape.

Beef croquettes patties

When the oil turned hot, I placed the croquettes in the pan, and fried them on medium high heat, for about 1-2 minutes on each side, until they were nicely browned.

Beef croquettes frying

I removed them from the pan and placed them on a plate covered with paper towel to absorb extra oil.

And boy, did they come out delicious!!! We finished them in less than half an hour.

Beef crockets closeup