Daily Archives: December 5, 2012

A Latke Tutorial With Old World Food Truck

Entertaining, Holiday and tagged , , , | | | 2 Replies

This week, in anticipation of the upcoming Hanukkah holiday, we stopped by San Francisco’s Old World Food Truck to cook up some latkes with chef and truck owner and operator Kenny Hockert. With a culinary background including training at New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute and stints in the kitchens at Heartbeat in the W New York and Savoy as well as executive chef at eco-retreats in Denali National Park, Alaska, Kenny’s varied history has all led him to Old World Food Truck, which he opened in April of 2012.

The eyecatching truck, which can be seen around the streets of San Francisco and at events such as Off the Grid, was designed by artist Hannah Morris. Kenny told us that his desire to launch Old World Food Truck was inspired in part by his family.  “I was really intrigued by food trucks and street food and  I wanted to do something that was authentic to me and my personal and family experience. I feel like that’s intrinsic to street food. That’s what brought me to wanting to do Jewish and Eastern European food. My mother and her parents were Holocaust survivors and immigrants from Eastern Europe and they brought all these traditions with them  . . . Being first generation, I grew up involved in households that were part old world and part new world. Drawing on that experience of family and food was very important to me, and combining that experience with a modern approach to cooking — local ingredients, natural foods, everything from scratch — seemed to be a natural fit for this type of food.”


Kenny served the latkes he cooked for us on the Pottery Barn Tree of Life Stoneware Plate along with the Pottery Barn Hanukkah Napkin.  (You can find more of Pottery Barn’s Hanukkah selections here.)

If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to stop by the food truck this season, check The Old World Food Truck’s site for locations each day. Or for a more formal experience, make a reservation at Old World Food Truck’s Hanukkah Pop-Up this Sunday in San Francisco.

“Our Hanukkah pop up is an opportunity to get a little deeper into the Jewish cookbook by doing a more upscale thing than we do on the foodtruck,” Kenny told us. “It’s also an opportunity to bring people together in a non-denominational way to celebrate both Jewish culture and Jewish food. I feel like there’s always been a lot of enthusiasm for it, so for every major holiday, whether it’s Hanukkah or Passover, we like to sit and hold a gathering and let people come together over wine and food and provide that structure for people — Jews and non-Jews alike — to be able to thrive and enjoy that environment if they don’t have the opportunity to go home to their families, which we don’t always do for this time of year. Or maybe you want to bring you family all here because you don’t feel like cooking for the holidays. A lot of different types of people will come and it’s always a really vibrant celebration. We try to take some of the traditional foods from that holiday [and do a twist on it]. We make a fun, five-course meal out of it.”

 

The Hanukkah Pop-Up will include a latke tasting, and Kenny shared two tried-and-true latke recipes with us, which you can try at home for your friends and family.

 

Potato Latkes for 4

 

1 lb potatoes, grated

1  tsp salt

1 small onion, grated

pinch of pepper

2 eggs

 

Salt the potatoes and let them sit for an hour to concentrate the starch. Drain potatoes and then add the onion, grated. Add the rest of the ingredients ingredients in and mix. Add a rounded spoonful of batter to 1/2 inch of heated oil in a nonstick or regular pan. (The oil should be shimmering, so the latkes will not soak up too much oil.) Brown on each side, then let sit on a cooling rack or on paper towels. Serve immediately with applesauce and chive sour cream.

Sweet Potato Latkes for 4

1 lb sweet potato, grated

1 tsp salt

1 small onion, grated

pinch of pepper

fresh herbs

2 cloves roasted garlic

2 eggs

 

Salt the potatoes and let them sit for an hour to concentrate the starch. Drain potatoes and then add the onion, grated. Add the rest of the ingredients ingredients in and mix. Add a rounded spoonful of batter to 1/2 inch of heated oil in a nonstick or regular pan. (The oil should be shimmering, so the latkes will not soak up too much oil.) Brown on each side, then let sit on a cooling rack or on paper towels. Serve immediately with applesauce and chive sour cream.

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This House Tour is Filled With Holiday Cheer

Decorating, Holiday, Inspiration and tagged , , , , , | | | 21 Replies

Today, we’re happy to take you on a tour of blogger Jennifer Rizzo‘s holiday-decorated home. Jennifer is hosting a virtual holiday house tour of 20 homes on her blog this week. Keep reading to learn more about the holiday house tour and to discover Jennifer’s favorite aspects of decorating for the holidays!

How did you come up with the idea for the virtual holiday house tour?

“Every year, the local garden club in our area hosts a holiday house walk. They decorate these beautiful homes and then open it to the public. I look forward to the event every year. Seeing all of the amazing ideas and inspiration that they come up with — it really gets me in the holiday spirit. I thought there must be some way to do a house walk that everyone can enjoy and that’s how the idea came to fruition. I first lined up three homes a day for five days to make it a week-long event. This year I’ve added more amazing homes so there is even more inspiration.”

 

 

What is the response to the virtual holiday tour like this year as compared to the first year?

“There was a much bigger response than I expected for the first walk. I just thought it was going to be a fun little walk that my readers could enjoy. I had about three homes  a day and they are set up so tour goers can visit each house in order, like a real house walk. I couldn’t believe how many people ‘walked’ through the tour. This year it’s even bigger with four to five homes a day and the traffic has grown to amazing proportions. The bloggers who are participating have really outdone themselves and I am so impressed by how clever they are. Their homes are beautiful and their ability to make their homes shine is amazing. The following Monday I always have  a party on my blog where other bloggers can show of their holiday homes. Last year there were over 150 extra homes full of decorating inspiration.”

Are there any easy ways you recommend for adding holiday cheer and décor to your home, especially if you’re pressed for time?

“I think greenery goes a really long way. Even faux greenery. A touch of green, a touch of sparkle,a scented candle and it all seems festive once you put Bing Crosby on.”

 

What holiday decorating tradition does your family have?

“We always try to decorate the house together as a family with some holiday music playing while we enjoy hot cocoa. Then the kids put the candy canes on the tree(their favorite part). In the end and I always give in and let them have one to kick off the season.”

 

What holiday décor from your home are you particularly happy about or inspired by this year?

“I really love the area in my breakfast nook. It’s where my family and I spend the most time and it’s decorated with my most favorite things: silver, glass and natural elements. I love the draped greenery on the vintage mirror and the added fun touches such as the pom-pom runner and mini bottle brush trees. I really love the way the vintage, silver chafing dish lid collage looks on my wall. I think it looks interesting and holiday-ish with out looking too glitzy.”

Visit Jennifer’s blog and take the entire tour here!

Source: Photos by Jennifer Rizzo