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December 4, 2012

Celebrate Hanukkah with cheese blintzes

Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights as it is also known, celebrates the miracle of a short supply of lamp oil lasting for eight days, long enough for second century Jews to fight and regain their Holy Temple in Jerusalem. To this day, in tribute to the miracle of the oil, Jewish families continue to eat fried foods such as doughnuts and latkes.

With another nod to history, it is tradition to enjoy dairy foods during Hanukkah festivities. This consumption of dairy comes as an insult to the Jews’ enemies as one of the significant battles fought and won by the Jewish army was a result of feeding their enemies cheese. Combining the traditions of both frying in oil and feasting on dairy and cheese, this recipe for Cheese Blintz is a true staple for a Hanukkah celebration. Perfect for a holiday breakfast, brunch or meal, this recipe for Cheese Blintzes from Amesbury chef and novelist Jane Ward is a delicious way to celebrate tradition.

Cheese Blintzes

Ingredients

Blintz Batter

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for the pan

6 large eggs

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Cheese Filling

1 1/2 cups farmer cheese, or whole milk ricotta

1/2 cup cottage cheese (not low- or non-fat)

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon sugar

Pinch of salt

Cinnamon sugar for dusting

Extra: Applesauce for serving, if desired

Instructions

1. With a rubber spatula, blend together the two cheeses with the egg yolk. Add the oil, sugar and salt and stir to blend. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill while you make the blintz pancakes.

2. Heat a small amount of oil in a flat 7-inch crepe pan, or small shallow skillet, over medium-high heat. Wipe out the excess oil with a paper towel.

3. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan. Quickly lift the pan from the heat and turn your wrist in rapid motions to coat the bottom of the pan evenly with the batter. When very lightly browned on one side, flip and cook just a second or two more. Turn the pancake out onto a plate and proceed to work your way through the batter in this fashion.

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