Hanukkah

Caribbean Vibes: Fried Yellow Plantains {Vegan, GF}

Caribbean Vibes: Pan-Fried Yellow Plantains {Vegan, GF}

Pan-Fried Yellow Plantains are so easy and delicious! And with their crispy edges and lightly sweet flavor, they are the perfect side dish at any time.

When I was growing up, back in the Dominican Republic, I could clearly see in my family people having certain preferences. When gatherings came about, you either had a strong preference for stewed kidney beans, or you loved stewed pigeon peas. You either liked sweet cream of beans (made with red beans) or you ate the white version (made with broad beans) and the same was true for plantains. You either loved fritos maduros (fried yellow plantains) or you were team tostones (fried green plantains).

I remember always leaning towards “team tostones” (I love crunchy stuff!), but as I grew older I started to embrace those foods that were usually preferred by my sister, including pigeon peas and fried yellow plantains. Maybe is a sentimental thing. Who knows?!

When making fried yellow plantains, you need to choose the right ones, which will be yellow color and have very dark/black spots on them (like the picture below). The black spots are the perfect indicator that the plantains are ripe enough and perfect for this recipe. 

 

The perfect yellow plantain is also firm to the touch but no completely. It should feel ripe with a certain resistance. You don’t want a plantain that is too ripe (with the peel mostly black) because it will be difficult to slice, it won’t hold its shape when cooking, it will absorb a lot of oil and it will be mushy. If you have yellow plantains that are overly ripe, they won’t be good for this recipe but you can use them to make Vegan Banana Bread (using yellow plantains instead!)

 

When you go to certain supermarkets, you sometimes see yellow plantain with a perfect bright yellow peel. If you buy those, wait for a few days until it ripens a bit more and you can see black spots. If you cook them right away, the fried yellow plantains won’t have the soft interior and caramelized flavor that is so characteristic.

Caribbean Vibes: Pan-Fried Yellow Plantains {Vegan, GF}

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Caribbean, Dominican Republic

Ingredients
  

  • 3 Ripe Yellow Plantains
  • Pinch of salt
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)

Instructions
 

  • Before starting, have a plate with paper towels ready in the counter to drain excess oil.
  • Heat the vegetable oil
  • Peel and cut the yellow plantains as desired (lengthwise, round or at an angle)
  • Fry the plantain slices over medium-low heat until brown on the bottom. Turn over and cook the other size until golden brown.
  • Carefully remove the plantains fron the oil, with the help of tongs or a slotted spoon, and place over paper towels to drain for a minute or two.
  • You can now season with a pinch of salt, if desired. Preferably, serve immediately.
Keyword caribbean, Plantains

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These are the Best Yeast Doughnuts. Period! (Dairy-Free)

The Only Yeast Donuts Recipe You'll Ever Need {Dairy-free}

I have been testing yeast doughnuts recipes since 2010. During that time, I have wasted hundreds of pounds of flour (no kidding!) searching for the best, fluffy doughnuts ever eaten, without the load of dairy products. It can take time to find a doughnut you love, and when you do, they will most likely be amazing when fresh, but not so good the next morning… except for these ones!

These doughnuts are a must during Hanukkah, and although they are a labor of love, your family and guests won’t be disappointed, in fact, they might beg for more, because these doughnuts are airy and fluffy even when baked!, and they pass the “next morning” test – reheated in the oven at 300F for about 3-5 minutes, and they were as good as new (hey, you don’t even have to reheat if you leave them at room temperature! In short, these are a dream come true!

And, well, as much as I want to tell you that I did all the”figuring out” by myself, the truth is, a very talented baker that I’ve followed on instagram for some years now, kindly shared her recipe with me, and to that I made adjustments. If you love baking, and want to learn more recipes and tips, you should check her page on instagram.

All the nitty gritty of this doughnut is detailed in the recipe notes below. As I said, these are a labor of love, but so worthy. If after all the details you still have questions, please, don’t hesitate to ask; send me an email or DM on instagram or use the contact form here

These are the Best Yeast Doughnuts. Period! (Dairy-Free)

Course Dessert

Equipment

  • Hand Mixer with dough hook or Stand Mixer

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Kg All Purpose flou
  • 250 gr Bread flour
  • 100 gr White Sugar
  • 20 gr Rapid Rise Yeast* (also called "instant") see Notes below
  • 210 ml Eggs
  • 515 ml Lukewarm Water
  • 100 ml Vegetable Oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 30 ml 30 ml Vanilla extract, butter emulsion or other preferred flavoring
  • 3 gr 3 gr Vanilla Sugar* omit if using vanilla extract
  • 2 gr Salt

Speculoos Donuts

  • 720 gr Speculoos cookie spread
  • 200 gr Speculoos cookies

Chocolate Filling

  • 200 gr Semi-Sweet Chocolate chunks
  • 250 gr Plant-based milk
  • 50 ml Vegan Whipping cream

Glazed Chocolate Donuts

  • 150 gr Confectioner's sugar
  • 30 gr Cocoa Powder
  • 30 ml Prepared instant coffee (or you can use plant-based milk or water instead)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Cut out squares of baking paper and set aside.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the dry ingredients.
  • Add wet ingredients to the mixer and start mixing on low, then medium speed10-12 minutes. (If using hand mixer with hook attachment, make sure you stop the mixer for a minute after a few minutes, to avoid overheating).
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Weight portions of 60 gr for traditional size donuts or 30 gr for 2-bites size donuts.
  • Place the donut over a baking sheet, each donut over a piece of a square of baking paper. Cover the donuts with a towel and set aside.
  • Let the donuts rise at room temperature for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  • About 20 minutes before frying, start preheating your vegetable oil.
  • Place the donuts with baking paper in the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side. Once golden brown, remove from the oil and place over a wire rack to drain excess oil.

For the Sugar Donuts

  • Place the donuts in a bowl of sugar while they are still warm.
  • Carefully remove the excess sugar before serving.

For Cookie Butter / Speculoos Donuts

  • Place soften cookie butter in a piping bag with a round tip
  • Make a incision on one side of the donut with a pairing knife, then place the piping tip inside the incision and fill the donut
  • Spread or pipe some cookie butter on top of each donut, and top with pieces of Speculoos cookies.

Chocolate Filling

  • Simmer the milk of choice, and pour the hot milk over the chopped semi-sweet chocolate. Set aside for a few minutes, until the chocolate starts to melt.
  • Mix the milk and chocolate very well with a whisk, until everything is well incorporated, the ganache is glossy and no chocolate chunk remains.
  • Cover the ganache with plastic wrap on contact and set aside until the ganache is semi-firm and spoonable.
  • Mix the ganache with the whipping cream. Place the whipped ganache inside a piping bag with a round tip. Set aside.
  • Make a incision on one side of the donut with a pairing knife, then place the piping tip inside the incision and fill the donut with the whipped ganache.
  • Glaze (recipe follows) and set aside for a few minutes, for the glaze to set.

Chocolate Glaze

  • Mix together sugar and cocoa powder with a whisk to break any lumps.
  • Slowly pour in the coffee or milk of choice, to make a paste.
  • Continue mixing, adding coffee or milk, a little at a time if necessary, until you have a pourable consistency.

Notes

On the ingredients:
THE YEAST:
If you are using "dry yeast" instead of "rapid rise or instant yeast", use double the amount of yeast. 
Instant yeast can be added directly to the dry ingredients, but if you are using dry yeast, you need to bloom (activate) it first. Sprinkle the yeast over the lukewarm water listed on the recipe, mix well with a fork and set aside for a few minutes until foamy. Then, the yeast if ready to use. 
VANILLA SUGAR:
If you don’t have vanilla sugar you can make your own just scrape out the seeds of one vanilla pod and mix with 1 cup of sugar. Place this into a airtight container together with the vanilla pod until ready to use. If you can’t find vanilla sugar or make your own, use 1 tsp of vanilla extract in its place.

If you are making the dough by hand
In a big bowl, mix your dry ingredients, then make a well in the center and add your mixed wet ingredients. Start working with your hands, mixing the ingredients from the center outwards, until you form a dough. It will be sticky. DON'T be tempted to add more flour to the dough itself. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest for about an hour at room temperature, until double in size.
** If you will be making the donuts later, you can place the bowl, covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator, for a slow fermentation, until ready to use. When ready to use, take the bowl out of the refrigerator and let come to room temperature and double in size before proceeding with next steps. 
Once the dough has doubled in size, push down the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface, and continue with the next steps. 

If you are baking the doughnuts

Preheat your oven to 180ºC (350ºF) .
Shape the doughnuts and place on a baking sheet with baking paper.
Set the donuts aside until double in size, and bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.
Storing for future use: 
Shape the doughnuts and place over a baking sheet covered with baking paper or a silicon mat.
Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the donuts are rock hard.
Remove the donuts from the baking sheet and store on in a ziplock bag.
When ready to use, place each donut over a square of baking paper and on a baking sheet to come to room temperature and double in size. Then, fry or bake as stated previously 
Keyword dairy-free, donuts, hanukkah

Have you make these Dairy-Free Yeast Doughnuts yet? Use the tag #kasheribbean to share your pictures on social media and, don’t forget to follow on instagram and pinterest for more recipes and inspiration! Until next time.

5 Things Non-Jewish Parents Can Learn from Hanukkah

Recently, I stumbled upon the following article: 5 Things Jewish Parents can Learn From Christmas, and under normal circumstances I will just finish reading like nothing happened, but an article suggesting I can learn something from Christmas in the days of Hanukkah was huge (I mean, seriously?!). Please, don’t get me wrong, Christmas is OK for Christians, but in a time when there is a great deal of assimilation, when even Jews are forgetting the deep meaning of Hanukkah and most of non-Jews, specially in the USA, believe that Hanukkah is just the equivalent to a “Jewish Christmas”, I wanted to step in.

In its very core, Hanukkah is a fight for the traditions of the Jewish people and a fight against assimilation. This history happened when Jews refused to follow the orders of the King, Anthiocus Epiphanes, of following other customs and assimilate to the greek-syrian traditions. Anthiocus Epiphanes went too far by making an idol to stand in the Jewish Temple and prohibiting  to follow the Torah (Jewish Law) under death threat. It was a time of oppression; but when a man, Matityahu (Mattathias) Maccabee, was called to worship the idol and he refused, and then he killed an officer of the King, an organized rebellion started that eventually fought against King Anthiocus and won, after 4 long years of initial war. This led to the re-dedication of the temple and regaining of some sort of independence (plus, many years of confrontations afterwards).

Apart from the historical details of Hanukkah (also known as “Festival of Lights”), these are 5 things Non-Jews Parents can Learn from it:

1. Integrity

At the time of Anthiocus Epiphanes a lot of people of different faiths and cultures abandoned their traditions in order to follow the King’s rules, even many Jews started to follow the hellenistic ways (yup, this is the ugly side of the Hanukkah history) but then, a man stood up, Mattathias Maccabee, with his family and many others, defenders of their traditions, fought the king, organized a rebellion, won the war and regained the Temple. Hanukkah is also about standing up and give the voice to the ones that don’t have one. It tells the story of those who defended their beliefs and guard their traditions in a time when for doing so, you were consider an enemy of the king. This is what it means to be a person of integrity and act accordingly you believe in.

2. Courage & Perseverance

Recruiting an army to fight the king, educating the people in the ancient traditions, be a motivator of the people and finally go out and face the oppressors didn’t happened overnight. Having a focus, courage and perseverance was key to success. Even after re-dedicating the Temple, the Jewish people had to continue their fight for a long period of time while they were subjected to tortures and mistreatment until they finally reclaimed their rights.

3. Team Work

Fighting for a cause and legacy is not possible alone, you need a team that not just “believe” in it, but that are also willing to put in some work. With a team comes responsibility. As a leader you also need to give some motivational speech. It is not about you anymore, but about what you accomplish along with your team.

4. Have your own identity

As we mentioned earlier, during Anthiocus Kingdom, many people, including many Jews, abandoned their traditions. By doing so they demonstrated how insignificant the meaning of the traditions were for them and soon they forgot who they were. They just wanted to be as everybody else to the point of changing their appearance to please others. Not all foreign traditions and customs threatens our own traditions, but it is important to recognize that traditions constitute an important part of us, as individuals, and is the base for our ethic, principles and role model examples. By minimizing their meaning or importance, eventually the own sense of being will suffer and you may end up to be just more of the same.

5. Give Thanks

Noup, not talking about the turkey dinner here, Hanukkah history also teach us to give thanks. Judah Maccabee had many victories and he could thought like: “you know what? I am the smarter and strongest guy in town”, but instead, he took the time to thanks God for his achievements, believing that is God who gave him the strength to accomplish his goals. Maybe today, because we don’t have to fight for your freedom, we often forget to give thanks. We are alive. We have a lot of things to be thankful for.

Hanukkah is a history of survival, a fight for freedom, a fight against oppression. Hanukkah is the meditation about your own traditions and defining yourself as an individual within a dominant culture that may not just differ from your own but that may even want to drown you. In such times, be a person of integrity, have perseverance, work as a team, have your own identity and when you have succeeded, don’t forget to give thanks.

Hanukkah lesimhá!,

Hannah

Sufganyoth Feast: Sweet & Savory Doughnuts Recipes to Light Up your Hanukkah Celebration

Hanukkah is around the corner and one of the signature preparations for Hanukkah is sufganyah, or filled donut. The popular version of sufganyoth are filled with jelly but, of course, you can light up your Hanukkah celebration with these bold and super yummy sweet & savory doughnuts recipes from the blogosphere! (Who says you cannot eat savory donuts for Hanukkah, btw?!)

Yummy sweet & savory doughnuts

1. Lamb Mushrooms Suganyoth with Pistachio Tahini

2. Chopped Liver Mousse and Manischewitz Glaze

3. Swiss Chard and Raisins (Dairy)

4. Goat Cheese, Honey and Thyme (Recipe in hebrew) (Dairy)

5. Herbs & Cheese (Dairy)

6. Biscoff (Cookie Buter) (Dairy)

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7. Peanut Butter and Jelly (Dairy)

8. Pistachio Pesto (Vegan)

9. Peanut Butter & Jelly (Vegan)

10. Nutella (Vegan)

11. Boston Cream (Vegan)

12. Stout-Chocolate (Vegan)

Aren’t these sweet & savory doughnuts delicious? We are babbling over here and we are sure you are too 😋 Tell us, which one is your favorite? Do you have a bold sufganyoth flavor? Let us know in the comment section below and don’t forget to follow on instagram & pinterest for more easy recipes and inspiration!

Until next time!