Thread Number: 75806  /  Tag: Recipes, Cooking Accessories
Looking for other dishes to serve with.........
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Post# 996367   6/6/2018 at 11:47 by Revvinkevin (So. Cal.)        

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Latke's (potato pancakes).


Friends of mine are part of a Wednesday night dinner group (each person in the group (it rotates) will host at their home and supply food, either cooking themselves or take-out from a restaurant) usually for 15-25 people.   My friends haven't hosted for a few years because they spent the last 2+ years remodeling / updating their home.  It's finally done and they will be hosting the dinner in 3 weeks.


Neither of them really cook (sad I know, but true, LOL), but the older of the two is Jewish and knows how to make Latke's (I think the only thing he can cook, beyond scrambled eggs).  They usually get Chinese take-out when they host one of these dinners, because some years ago they tried to cook, making Latke's, but it was a disaster.  Only one burner on the old electric stove worked and the exhaust fan, didn't.  They were both traumatized by that experience and the younger of the two says he has P.T.S.D. because of it. LOL 


OK enough back story.  They invite us, I offer to help, or more so, do the cooking and start making easy menu suggestions.  Sounds like he has his mind set on making potato pancakes again, now that the house is done and they have a beautiful Viking 6 burner gas cooktop.  I'm told he served them before topped with sour cream, or applesauce or caviar(!!).  OK this all sounds right (except the caviar??).


So my question is; keeping in mind this is NOT specifically a Jewish / Kosher meal, there could be 25 people and for simplicity, what other item(s) / dish(s) would you suggest in addition to the potato pancakes.  I'm thinking a green salad to lighten things up.    


All suggestions much appreciated! 

Thanks in advance,




Post# 996371 , Reply# 1   6/6/2018 at 11:58 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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When I make Potato Pancakes I like to serve them with Sauerbraten and Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage. I love German food, the cabbage isnít heavy, and if you donít eat a lot of the Sauerbraten, its not really that heavy either. A nice salad would be some sliced cucumbers with a little sour cream, vinegar, dill and salt, served on Butter lettuce leaves. For a green vegetable some nice fresh green beans, lightly cooked with a little butter. Iíve made this dinner in the past for Christmas and my family loved it.


Post# 996372 , Reply# 2   6/6/2018 at 12:02 by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

That's a bunch of Latke for a group that large! Perhaps some marinated baked chicken wings or a meatball (swedish) type thing.

Post# 996392 , Reply# 3   6/6/2018 at 13:50 by Michaelman2 (Atlanta, GA)        
Kevin,how about a brisket?

The crispy latke with the rich full flavored brisket is really a treat and depending upon the size of the brisket you will have plenty to serve this large number of guests. You also have the luxury of doing everything ahead of time.

I have a super easy recipe that I can type up if you like? There is never a morsel leftover.

Post# 996394 , Reply# 4   6/6/2018 at 14:13 by Michaelman2 (Atlanta, GA)        
Brisket Recipe:


Extra virgin olive oil
1 (12-14) pound whole brisket (whole brisket will yield a meltingly tender brisket)
2 large Spanish onions, sliced
1 bottle dry red wine, (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir)
2 whole heads garlic, sliced in half crosswise to expose the cloves
2 cups chicken broth
1 Bottle Chili Sauce (I use Heinz)
2 cups chopped pitted dates
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 320įF.

Pat dry brisket. (wet brisket will not caramelize, it will just steam!)

Season brisket with salt and pepper.

Heat a braising pan or large Dutch oven, lightly coated with evoo over medium high heat.(if you donít have a pan large enough to accommodate the whole piece of meat, cut the meat in half and sear each piece separately-do not be afraid to cut it in half)

Sear the brisket on both sides (about 5-7 minutes per side), being sure to allow each side to caramelize and turn dark brown. Remove brisket and set aside. ( This step is so important as it really adds to the wonderful level of flavor when done correctly )

Add onions to the pan and caramelize being sure to season with salt and pepper, until dark brown and very soft, about 10-15 minutes.

Pour in the bottle of wine, then add 2 heads garlic, 2 cups chicken broth*.

Nestle brisket back into the pan.Smooth over the brisket the bottle of Chili
Sauce, Add dates, COVER and place in oven.

Braise brisket for 3 Ĺ - 4 (maybe even 5 hours) until a fork can be inserted easily without resistance.

Remove brisket and allow to cool before slicing across the grain.

Taste and adjust seasoning of the braising liquid, strain if desired, serve over brisket.

Note: I have added an envelope of *Dry Onion Soup Mix to the onions as I pour in the wine and chicken broth...this adds another dimension of taste to this recipe.

Post# 996399 , Reply# 5   6/6/2018 at 16:14 by joeekaitis (Rialto, California, USA)        

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Polska Kielbasa.


My work here is done.

Post# 996400 , Reply# 6   6/6/2018 at 16:17 by appnut (TX)        

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Mike, I'm moaning just looking at thee recipe and anticipating the flavor!!!

Post# 996406 , Reply# 7   6/6/2018 at 17:14 by Michaelman2 (Atlanta, GA)        

Hey Bob... is simple and the flavor is the best. I usually opt to cook for five hours or simply place in the oven and let it cook while I sleep. Have the oven turn off at four hours and let it sit in the oven overnight. I make this brisket several times a year and always at Passover.

The latkes Kevin will be making will be perfect with this brisket. I have at times added carrots, potatoes and celery to this recipe. Most times I simply prepare it as written above and it simple and delicious !

Glad to know you are doing well.

Post# 996407 , Reply# 8   6/6/2018 at 17:20 by abcomatic (Bradford, Illinois)        

Pork is out then?

Post# 996409 , Reply# 9   6/6/2018 at 17:29 by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

Michael that is nearly the same way I do it. A superb brisket. Sometimes I thicken the au jus with a bit of slurry or corn starch and serve alongside the latkes. Some people prefer the savory flavor of the gravy over their latkes.

Post# 996410 , Reply# 10   6/6/2018 at 17:32 by Michaelman2 (Atlanta, GA)        

Hey Steve, yes, the remaining gravy when thickened as you suggest or reduced a bit make for a fantastic sauce.

Post# 996464 , Reply# 11   6/7/2018 at 12:11 by Revvinkevin (So. Cal.)        

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Eddie, while I'd heard of Sauerbraten (my mom spent a few years in Germany & Switzerland before I was born), I couldn't remember what it was and had to look it up.  Sounds delicious (along with the rest of your menu) and I will have to try making this at home!  laughing


Tom, I really like your suggestion of baked chicken wings / meatballs! Thank you.


Mike, your brisket recipe sounds amazing and I will have to make this at home!  Question: how many will it serve as made above?


Gary, while yes one is Jewish, he isn't so strict about it and pork is still an option.


Great suggestions all, thank you!   Unfortunately as I mentioned, they both have almost zero cooking ability and started to freak out / panic when I suggested something as simple as the baked chicken wings or making lasagna.   The Sauerbraten and brisket are WAAAAAY beyond their ability / comfort zone, even if I'm doing the majority of the work. undecided


Being a mid-week thing, simplicity, time required and easy prep are all important factors for dishes for this dinner, as we all work and there may only be 1 or 1.5 hours before hungry guests start arriving.  



Post# 996465 , Reply# 12   6/7/2018 at 12:22 by RP2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        
Just Curious

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I know it wouldn't likely be as good, but could the brisket recipe be adapted for a pressure cooker?

Post# 996466 , Reply# 13   6/7/2018 at 12:23 by countryford (Phoenix, AZ)        

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I know I'm not going to add anything of important, but I do have a question.

If neither of them cook or even know how to, why did they go with an expensive stove such as a Viking? (I know they can do as the please, just seems odd to me to spend so much on an expensive stove when they don't even cook)

Post# 996468 , Reply# 14   6/7/2018 at 12:44 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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for people that are challenged in the kitchen why would they want to prepare Latkes for 25 people? That in and of itself is quite an undertaking and very labor intensive.

But if they are locked into this idea, why not make the Latkes the focal point, and have several accompaniments, like applesauce, sour cream, the caviar that they like, and whatever else comes to mind.

For a meat course, get lots of Mild Italian Sausages and Brats and cook then in the oven. This is very easy, and in fact its the only way I cook Italian Sausage anymore. Just lightly coat a pyrex baking dish with a little bland vegetable oil, pierce the sausages in several places, so they wonít explode and the fat drains out. Bake at 375 for about 45 mins, turning once halfway thru. They come out beautifully, not greasy at all, as the fat has drained out during the baking. I see no reason why Brats couldnít be prepared the same way.

Serve with a nice big salad and some cut up raw vegetables, something that can be purchased already prepared at just about any grocery store, if cutting up vegetables is too much for them.

Have several kinds of nice rolls to round out the menu along with condiments for the sausages, like several different kinds of mustard, and maybe some sauerkraut if you decide to serve brats.

This is a meal that can be served buffet style and let everyone pick and chose what they like


Post# 996474 , Reply# 15   6/7/2018 at 13:20 by Michaelman2 (Atlanta, GA)        
Pressure cooker

Yes, a pressure cooker works well especially with the meat being seared. It will of course take a large capacity pressure cooker. Cuts the cooking time to about 90 mins

Post# 996478 , Reply# 16   6/7/2018 at 14:24 by RP2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Thanks Mike.  I have a big 10 or 12 quart cooker that I think could accommodate a brisket. 

Post# 996480 , Reply# 17   6/7/2018 at 15:06 by Revvinkevin (So. Cal.)        
I know the obvious question is...

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...If they can't or don't cook, why in the hell would they even attempt doing anything like this?  Right?   


Because it sounds like my friend has his mind set on making latkes.   After all, they do have a new kitchen, stove and vent hood that works, so why not try again??   I want to help them and this is why I'm trying to push for a "made in house" menu rather than rather picking up Chinese take-out again. 


Eddie, I  L O V E your idea for the sausages, this would be perfect (and an easy way for them to get their feet wet in the kitchen.  Baby steps, right?).  Thank you!  


Justin, I've heard of a number of people (from friends & realtors) out here who will do an expensive kitchen remodel, with high end materials and appliances, yet rarely if ever actually use it.   I've also heard mention of a couple who did this just to have a "show kitchen".



Post# 996492 , Reply# 18   6/7/2018 at 17:31 by abcomatic (Bradford, Illinois)        

How about a side dish of Danish red cabbage? I make it the day before (melds the flavors together) and then warm it up? Everyone likes it when I make it.
if you interested, I'll type up the receipe and send it here.

Post# 996494 , Reply# 19   6/7/2018 at 17:42 by perc-o-prince (Southboro, Mass)        

I agree with Joe- Polish sausage. However, fresh and not smoked. A little steam and a quick saute, grill or broil for color and it's done. Holds very well in a sealed baking dish, foil pan, etc.

If you're not sure about likes and dislikes, maybe 1/2 kielbasa and 1/2 other sausage or Swedish meatballs as Tom suggested. I believe cooked cabbage of any sort would be a shoe-in side.


Post# 996548 , Reply# 20   6/8/2018 at 07:22 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Really anything goes well.

Of course that tasty brisket, I've had a honey pecan one even. Stuufed cabbages,
Fish, Lamb, veal, poultry, or that yummy polish goulash or hunters stew.
Beets, or beet salad, cucumber salad with thinly sliced onion, vinegar and sour cream.
Trying to cut way back on carbohydrate intake. My sister was not able to get her scale to move in a year. She has lost several pounds in only two weeks.
Both of our parents had type 2 diabetes. Not going there, not going on pills.
Once you start insulin, you gain more weight because you have to eat after to make your blood sugar go back up some. It also puts us at higher risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, etc.
This problem is global. Processed foods, Corn, sugars, white flour are bad. Saturated fats are not the main problem causing heart disease. It has even affected the Aboriginal's of North Australia. The govt. gave the needy white flour, sugar, and lard to make pan bread with. Ours gave our reservation placed natives the same.
South Africa began growing GMO corn and fed it's impoverished and they were all getting sick. Corn wasn't even indigenous to S. Africa.
Corn fed cattle can become sick and die after 60 days eating it. It fattens them up quick, and their beef does it to us. Loaded with higher fat and cholesterol.
Yes grass fed costs more. People get a deep freeze, and buy an entire butchered grass grazed cow, to save money.
I saw the documentary Magic Pill on Netflix. Very informative.
Kids with autism, asthma, bowel and or weight problems, cognative issues improved after just weeks on a ketogenic diet of proteins, less dairy, less carbs, if any, fresh vegetables, and fruits. Even a cancer patient. Sugar feeds cancer cells.
Coconut and olive oil are great health benefiting. Even butter is not as bad as hydrogenated fats.
Clearing farm land of all grasses and wild flowers to plant crops requires using more man made fertilizers, herbicides, and gmo modified plants. It ruins the soil in time. All the grass lands in the world remove as much or more carbon dioxide from the air as the trees do. Plots of grass lands can be left to thrive next to farms where the land need be cleared for growing large cash crops. The nutrients from the grass land will leech into the soil and help replenish it. The seeds will pollinate back into the other farm fields on the off season to enrich the soil for the next planting.
Better, healthier produce, farm animals, milk, and humans are all possible.
Even vegans say you can not remove the animals from the food chain. They are needed to fertilize soil, lay eggs, etc. Worms, and bugs also enrich the earth, and are better pesticides than chemicals. Free range chickens can eat bugs and worms also. No antibiotics needed. Same for people who eat healthier. Fewer colds, and flu.

Post# 996549 , Reply# 21   6/8/2018 at 07:28 by countryford (Phoenix, AZ)        

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Kevin, You are truly a good friend to help them out with this. Wish you all the best luck with it.


Post# 997038 , Reply# 22   6/13/2018 at 06:05 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

The secret to the success of this meal will be to start cooking the latkes ahead of time and then keeping them warm in the ovens on sheet cake pans with racks so that the air circulates around them and they don't steam and get limp. Even if they had 6 square 12 inch skillets, cooking latkes for 25 people is not something an experienced cook would try to pull off with people waiting for food.  These take a while to cook and can't be hurried or you will have burnt or overly brown latkes. When I make them for myself, I fry 4 at a time in an electric skillet on the flat top of  a '53 Hamilton dryer covered with heavy brown paper and eat the previous 4 while the next 4 are cooking. I would not want to clean that stove after the latke fry off. It sounds like the perfect stove to have for someone who does not cook. In the 80s, they would have a set of Calphalon to hang above it.


Squeeze the juice out of the potato-onion & other vegetable mixture mixture before combining the rest of the ingredients.


Grate the onions first so that you grate the potatoes into them to prevent the raw potatoes from darkening and stir to combine several times. Do they have a Cuisinart? How many good large skillets do they have? Some grated unpeeled zucchini  and peeled carrots, maybe some minced  red bell peppers added to the mix lightens the latkes and adds some color. Parsley can be used, too.  Celery seed adds a nice flavor. You will probably make two or three smaller batches of  mixture rather than one large one.

Post# 998694 , Reply# 23   6/28/2018 at 12:04 by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

So Kevin, how did it turn out?

Post# 998883 , Reply# 24   6/30/2018 at 10:13 by Revvinkevin (So. Cal.)        
Thank you for asking!

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All in all everything went well!


More people showed up than expected, the younger one (Ezra) had bought 40 plates just for this party and all were used plus a few of the "daily" plates too.


The older one (Charlie) made a ginormous batch of latkes.  He didn't measure anything and mixing it all by hand, know it was ready by the"feel".  Only 4 ingredients, potato, onion, eggs and flour.  After mixing it sat there 30-40 minutes before he started cooking.  Yes in my opinion they needed salt, but he later said "Salt will draw more moisture out of the potatoes and changes the texture."  They were served with applesauce, sour cream, sugar, caviar, lox (salmon), cream cheese and capers as topping options.


Additionally a green salad and 4 different flavors of sausages were served.  Two chicken (spinach/cheese and cheese/garlic), a jalapeño beef and fourth and a mild Italian sausage.   I sliced them before serving rather than leaving them whole.  Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies were served for dessert.


One thing we discovered is their Viking cooktop isn't level, lower in the front then the back!   When oil was added to the griddles, it pooled at the front.  Also, as the oil was heating, it expanded and started flowing over the edge onto the cooktop around one of the burners, Ezra later referred to this as the "Exxon Valdez event" haha.  We shifted over to 3 frying pans instead.   


One thing Ezra later said "I KNEW that was going to happen", as the 3rd or 4th batch of latkes were cooking and more guests arrived, Charlie just walked away and started socializing!  After about 10 minutes Charlie realized his "error" and returned to the kitchen to find my other half, bless his heart, had jumped in and taken over the "latkes cooking duties" (ended up being for the rest of the party).  Charlie gave him a couple "how to" tips and was off again.

Overall everything went really well and the hosts received many positive comments for the latkes and food in general.  This, of course was a MUCH better outcome than the last time they tried doing this many years ago!



Post# 998886 , Reply# 25   6/30/2018 at 10:22 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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Kevin, thanks for letting us all know how it went. Sounds like a very nice spread.


Post# 998894 , Reply# 26   6/30/2018 at 12:01 by appnut (TX)        

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Terrific Kevin.  Thank ou for sharing.  I'd forgotten when the event date was to be and was wondering if a follow-up post would ensue. 

Post# 998996 , Reply# 27   7/1/2018 at 14:03 by thomasortega (Los Angeles - CA)        

Kevin, we need to do the same here...

When are you coming to "test drive" Mr. Kenmore Elite?

Ps. The Le Cresusets are always welcome.

Post# 1010293 , Reply# 28   10/10/2018 at 11:08 by RevvinKevin (So. Cal.)        

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