By Renee Chernin

Former Atlanta resident Renee Chernin, who now lives in the Old City of Jerusalem, is the author of two editions of “Cooking for the King.” The newer edition, out this fall, is full of kosher recipes for Chanukah.

The following recipes are taken from “Cooking for the King: Chanukah Edition” with the author’s permission.For a Festival Fit for a King 1

Spanakopita Latkes With Tzatziki Sauce

This dairy recipe makes about 20 servings.

Active time: 30 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

I thought these were a winner with my first bite, but I’m a big fan of spanakopita anyway. So when my steak-and-potatoes-loving Ashkenazi son-in-law declared them the best thing he ever ate, we knew they would take a premier spot in this latke section.

Latkes

3 medium russet or baking potatoes, peeled

6 green onions, thinly sliced

2 eggs, beaten

4 tablespoons flour or instant potatoes

¼ cup fresh dill, chopped, or 1 tablespoon dried dill

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black or white pepper

Spanakopita Latkes With Tzatziki Sauce are a dairy dish good enough to please the most devoted fan of steak and potatoes.

Spanakopita Latkes With Tzatziki Sauce are a dairy dish good enough to please the most devoted fan of steak and potatoes.

1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

vegetable oil for frying

Finely grate but do not puree potatoes and place in a large bowl. Using your hands, gently squeeze the water from the potatoes, dripping the water into the same bowl, and place the squeezed potatoes into another bowl. Pour off most of the potato water from the first bowl, reserving 2 to 3 tablespoons settled on the bottom. Add this water to the potatoes in the second bowl.

Add the green onions, eggs, flour or instant potatoes, dill, lemon juice, spinach, salt, and pepper to the potatoes. Mix well. Add more flour or instant potatoes as needed until a loose ball can be formed with the mixture. Fold in the crumbled feta cheese.

Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour in enough oil to thinly coat the bottom of the pan by about a quarter-inch. Test by dropping a small amount of the mixture into the oil. When it sizzles, the oil is ready. Mound the mixture in a heaping tablespoon or quarter-cup measure and carefully place it into the hot oil. Flatten gently with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, depending on size, until golden brown. Using a fork, turn the latke over to brown the other side for another 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding oil as needed to prevent the latkes from sticking and adjusting the temperature to maintain an even heat. Serve warm with Tzatziki Sauce.

Tzatziki Sauce

1 English cucumber, finely shredded

1 tablespoon coarse kosher or sea salt

1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried dill

In a medium bowl, toss the cucumber with salt and let sit 20 minutes. Rinse and drain well. Spread the cucumber over a clean kitchen towel. Wring the towel out over the sink to remove as much moisture as possible from the cucumber.

Return the cucumber to the bowl and add the sour cream and dill. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

The latkes and sauce will keep in separate containers, covered tightly in the refrigerator, for up to four days. Reheat the latkes in an oven preheated to 400 degrees.

Cauliflower Latkes With Quick Garlic Aioli

This pareve recipe makes 14 to 16 latkes.

Cauliflower Latkes With Quick Garlic Aioli take advantage of seasonal cauliflower and a classic sauce from Provence for a pareve treat.

Cauliflower Latkes With Quick Garlic Aioli take advantage of seasonal cauliflower and a classic sauce from Provence for a pareve treat.

Active time: 30 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes

Cauliflower is at its peak in the winter months, so Chanukah and this recipe are the perfect combination to introduce its mild, nutty flavor to the uninitiated. Plus, it’s a good way to get the flavor of potato latkes with fewer carbs. Mind you, they are fried, so the calorie count still applies.

Latkes

1 32-ounce bag frozen cauliflower

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 medium onion, minced

2 eggs, beaten

4 tablespoons flour or cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black or white pepper

vegetable oil for frying

In a large pot heat 4 cups water over high heat. When boiling, add the cauliflower and garlic clove. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until fork-tender, soft enough to be easily mashed. Drain well.

Place the drained cauliflower in a large bowl and coarsely mash. Stir in the onion and eggs. Add the flour or cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and pepper to create a thick, cakelike batter.

Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour in enough oil to thinly coat the bottom of the pan by about a quarter-inch. Test by dropping a small amount of the mixture into the oil. When it sizzles, the oil is ready. Mound the mixture in a heaping tablespoon or quarter-cup measure and carefully place it into the hot oil. Flatten gently with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, depending on size, until golden brown. Using a fork, turn the latke over to brown the other side for another 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding oil as needed to prevent the latkes from sticking and adjusting the temperature to maintain an even heat.

Quick Garlic Aioli

Aioli is a classic sauce from Provence that is delicious when stirred into soup and as a condiment for seafood. The original recipe uses raw eggs; here is the modern version. The lemon and garlic are a perfect complement to the Cauliflower Latkes.

1 cup olive oil mayonnaise

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black or white pepper

In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to blend the flavors.

Keep the latkes warm in a 250-degree oven for half an hour or at room temperature for four hours. Reheat before serving.

The aioli will keep covered in the refrigerator for one week.