|Jacques Pépin Celebrates!: Episode #202: Chanukah Special|
In this special episode, Jacques and Claudine celebrate the Jewish "Festival of Lights" with a light, French-inspired Chanukah dinner menu. It begins with a sparkling CONSOMMÉ PRINTANIER with a colorful sprinkling of carrot, turnip, zucchini and MINIATURE CHICKEN QUENELLES. Then it's a silky COLD MOUSSE OF CHICKEN AND PISTACHIOS with a beautiful garnish set in aspic. A simple, soulful VEAL ROAST served with buttery BRAISED LETTUCE is the hearty centerpiece of the meal. And Jacques serves it with crispy, golden VEGETABLE PANCAKES TEMPURA -- his homage to the traditional Chanukah potato latke. For dessert, there's a spectacular FROZEN CITRUS SOUFFLÉ surrounded by a crown of freshly-baked LADY FINGERS served alongside a classic rum-soaked HOLIDAY FRUIT CAKE, brimming with Jacques' own homemade candied fruit. It's an hour-long celebration, filled with the warmth of family and friends, the glow of candlelight and a delightful array of festive holiday foods.
VEGETABLE PANCAKES TEMPURA
Yield: 8 to 10 pancakes, depending on size
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups ice-cold water
1 medium carrot (2 1/2 ounces), peeled and cut into thin strips with a vegetable peeler
1 small onion (3 ounces), peeled and sliced thin (1 cup)
1 small zucchini (4 ounces), cut into thin strips with a vegetable peeler or
sharp paring knife
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (from 1 small ear of corn)
1/2 cup (loose) parsley leaves
1 1/2 cups (loosely packed) spinach, washed, stems removed, and leaves cut into 2-inch pieces
About 1 tablespoon corn oil for each large tempura pancake (about 3/4 cup oil total)
Salt to taste
1. For the tempura batter: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, egg yolks, salt, and 3/4 cup of the cold water. The batter should be very thick at this point; mix it with the whisk until smooth. (When the batter is thick, the threads of the whisk will break up any lumps of flour and produce a smooth batter.) Add the remaining cup of water, and mix well. The batter should be about the thickness of a crÍpe batter.
2. At serving time, mix the vegetables with the batter. Heat the corn oil in each of two nonstick skillets with a bottom measuring 7 inches. When the oil is hot, add about 1/2 cup of the tempura to each skillet, and spread it with a spoon, so the pancakes are very thin. Cook on one side for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes over high heat, until nicely browned. Then turn the pancake over, and cook on the other side for 1 minute. Continue making pancakes, using more corn oil as required, until all the batter is used up.
3. As the pancakes finish cooking, remove them from the skillets with a spatula, sprinkle lightly with salt, and serve immediately. Alternatively, arrange on a rack set on a cookie sheet, and keep in a warm oven until ready to serve.