Season’s Eatings

Season’s Eatings

Recipes for potato latkes from the Medoff family, Danita Mason-Hogans’ candied yams and Mikate (African doughnuts), courtesy of Gina and Blaise Pehot.


In our December/January 2018 issue, four families share how they celebrate the season. If you’d like to host your own festive gathering, try out these recipes!

Photo by Blaise Pehot

Mikate (African Doughnuts)
(pronounced: MEE-KA-TAY)

Mikate are traditional African doughnuts enjoyed in South, West and Central Africa. They are often served at celebrations, festivities and holidays. These delights can be counted on as a sure winner at a Kwanzaa celebration!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup self-rising flour
1 package instant yeast
½ tablespoon salt
½ cup water*
1 cup milk*
¾ cup sugar
1½ tablespoon vanilla extract
Vegetable oil (for frying)
Large mixing bowl & spoon
*Milk & water should be at room temperature

1. In a small bowl, add yeast and water. Stir until yeast dissolves. Set aside.
2. In mixing bowl, pour both flours and salt. Stir to combine.
3. Add in sugar, vanilla extract, milk and yeast mixture. Mix batter until smooth (small lumps may appear).
4. Cover mixture tightly with aluminum foil, place kitchen towel over covered bowl and set aside for 1 hour. (After 1 hour, mixture will have doubled in size with air bubbles.)
5. In a medium pot, pour oil about halfway. Heat oil to 325 degrees.
6. With a tablespoon, spoon mixture into a round form and drop into oil. (Drop 8 rounds at a time.)
7. With a slotted spoon, turn donuts frequently for even browning. Fry donuts for about 5 minutes, or until nicely golden brown.
8. Set donuts on a paper towel to absorb oil.
9. Let stand for 10-15 minutes.
10. Dust/sprinkle donuts with powdered sugar, or serve without for more traditional Mikate.

Recipe courtesy of: Yaya’s Fusion, Gina and Blaise Pehot; they will present this dish and several others at KwanzaaFest 2018, hosted by the African American Dance Ensemble at the Walltown Recreation Center on January 1, 11 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Danita’s Candied Yams

6 large sweet potatoes
1 stick butter
2 cups white sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup orange juice

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Wash, dry and peel sweet potatoes. Cut off tips of the potatoes, then slice them into round, ½-inch pieces. Place potatoes in a 9-by-12-inch casserole dish. Melt butter in a heavy skillet and mix in sugar. Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Add orange juice. Pour mixture over sweet potatoes and stir. Cover and bake for about 45 minutes.

Crisp and Golden Potato Latkes
(adapted from “The Kosher Palette”)

5 medium to large potatoes
2 onions, coarsely chopped
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 to 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
Canola oil

Peel and cube potatoes; place in a bowl of cold water until ready to prepare latkes. Drain potatoes. Place potatoes and onion in food processor fitted with a knife blade. Pulse until smooth; drain mixture immediately. Pour potato mixture into a large bowl. Stir in eggs. Add flour, 1 tbsp. at a time, until the mixture holds together as a wet paste. Season with salt and pepper. Pour oil into a large, deep pan, 1 to 2 inches deep, and heat on medium-high. Carefully drop several heaping tablespoons of potato mixture into the hot oil; flatten slightly. Fry for several minutes on each side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

We like to serve our latkes with three dipping sauces: homemade apple sauce, sour cream and Seven-Pepper Jelly from Foster’s Market.