Submitted by Rafael Aryeh Smith
When I was young (being the youngest) I got to see my Mama cook. To me, potato latkes were complicated. Grating…peeling…and the cleanup.
So, when she wasn’t home (probably pre-to-early teens) I would not only make a batch…but clean up so SHE DIDN’T KNOW I COOKED. My greatest joy…was when she came home…and SMELLED THE SMELL….and asked “Rafella (Rafael) …what did you make?” Once she checked the grater, and found “evidence”, my CLEANING SKILLS ramped up to a level most governments would WISH she had for “cover-ups”.
Then, bachelorhood. And I improvised. Believe it or not (unless you are an ISTANIS…ask a Yeshiva Bochur what that is) a blender works FASTER, EASIER than a grater, and it tastes the same.
Again, hypersensitive texture buffs, notwithstanding.
Since making Aliyah, I have found simple ways to make GOURMET MEALS, TREATS, etc., that if the PEOPLE DON’T SEE ME MAKING IT….are blown away at the taste and satisfying feeling walking away afterwards.
Perogies. Mini Knishes. Potato Dumplings.
All these are captured in a way the male (or female in a rush) can put an item on the table in under 10 minutes, and everyone is floating after popping them in their mouths. THAT GOAL CAN BE ACHIEVED with this recipe.
I would say my TECHNIQUES are what makes me a proper Bachelor Coach in Cooking (BCC).
Call a few hungry friends…tell them to be over in 10 minutes.
Add boiling water to Instant Potatoes as per instructions. If time allows, put in fridge. Cooler means thicker.
Have pan larger than rice sheets with water, and some HOT WATER so temp is slightly warm. Dip a rice sheet in water, flipping it over after 20 seconds – GENTLY so it doesn’t crack…but if they do, that’s ok anyway.
On wet counter, large dish, or cutting board (so it won’t stick) lay the rice sheet, and with spoon if hot (hands if cold), place 1-2 TABLESPOONS of cooked instant potato at top center (nearest to you), leaving space on each end…maybe 1/2 inch).
Roll or fold the end near you over the filling (away from you) so it touches the sheet just past the filling. Fold inwards the 2 spaced (no potato) edges all the way to end of sheet, to secure leakage.
THEN ROLL, “slightly tightly” to end.
I kid you not. DONE!
Now..let’s say I put potato in fridge…OR FRIENDS TOOK 12 MINUTES TO ARRIVE:
Cut the roll this way: Using a NON-SERRATED knife, PRESS down (no slicing action YET) until knife hits BOTTOM…THEN, holding the roll, SLIDE THE KNIFE to complete the cut.
Four times…you will have FOUR CUTE LITTLE …you name them. GNOCCHI, PEROGIES, DUMPLINGS.
IMMEDIATELY after cutting one roll into 4….pop the worst looking one into your mouth.
HEAVEN ON EARTH?
Arrange them on a plate, slightly damp so skins don’t stick. Microwave 30 seconds as guests arrive. SERVE WITH A PLOP OF SOUR CREAM…ALFREDO SAUCE…MUSTARD (knish, remember?). Even those familiar with rice sheets…WILL ASK FOR THE DELICIOUS FILLING RECIPE.