Rosemary, Fig & Goat Cheese Latkes

latkes-main

Chanukah starts tomorrow night. It only hit me when I glanced at my calendar on Outlook and it told me that I had to light the first candle on Tuesday.  I stifled a gasp. I’m totally not caught up with holiday preparations. I need to buy Chanukah and Christmas presents. Need to buy presents for my kid’s teachers and therapists. I need to sort out a chanukah party menu. The list goes on. I will breathe after December 23. That’s when I start my staycation.

Chanukah is already in the air though. Even if it hasn’t begun. The Chanukah spirit arrived last week when I made those delicious golden beet latkes. Today, I have another fun Chanukah treat and I’m sure I’ll have some more goodies for you through the holiday.

I’m so excited to share these latkes with you. The idea for these latkes came about one evening when I had some people over for a wine and cheese night. I served an appetizer that had some roasted figs with rosemary and goat cheese on them. As I worked through the flavors, and loved them, I knew these flavors had to become a latke! So here we are today!

I soaked some dried figs in some port wine and brought some goat cheese to room temperature. You can let the figs soak for about 20 minutes, or you can get distracted like I did and keep them soaking for an hour. You want them to soften and plump up. I chopped up the figs along with some shallots and mixed them with the goat cheese. I set that bowl aside.

goat-cheese-and-figsfilling

The potato process needs to happen fast as you want them to keep their light color. I washed and peeled the potatoes. I shredded the potatoes, along with some onion, garlic and more shallots in the food processor using the shredding disc. Next, I rinsed the grated potato mixture and squeezed out all of the liquid.

I placed the mixture in to a large mixing bowl and stirred in some eggs, almond flour, salt, pepper and fresh chopped rosemary.

potato-mixture

Next, I heated up some oil in a large fry pan.

I placed a thin layer of potato mixture in my hand and then placed some fig and goat cheese layer on top of it. You want a decent amount of goat cheese, but make sure that there’s an edge of potato around it. I topped the goat cheese with another thin layer of potatoes. You want the latke to be thin so that it gets crispy and cooked through, but you also want the cheese to shine through. The cheese should be completely covered by the potato mixture.

stuffed-latkes

I fried the latkes until crisp on both sides. The trick with latkes is to place them in the pan and leave them alone until you see the shredded potatoes begin to brown at the edges. The browning will poke through. But don’t peek and don’t flip until you can see that it’s very crisp.

frying-latkes

Drain the finished latkes on a cooling rack over a paper towel lined cookie sheet.

drain-latkes

It’s best to serve fresh. But if you have to make these ahead of time, you can keep them warm in a 250-degree oven.

These latkes are out of this world. Because of the creamy goat cheese with figs inside, you don’t need any sauce or sour cream on top. There’s a huge amount of flavor all packed in to the latke! It’s amazing! My first thought as I sunk my teeth in to the latke was that it was “off the hook!” And I never say that! It was that good though. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!



Rosemary, Fig & Goat Cheese Latkes
 
Author:
Ingredients
Fig & Goat Cheese Filling
  • 7 dried figs
  • 1 cup of port wine or other semi dry red wine
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 4 oz. goat cheese (chevre)
Latke Blend
  • 4 large red potatoes, washed and peeled nand quartered
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 shallot
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 tbsp. almond flour or all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Soak the figs in the wine for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Drain the figs and chop them finely. In a small bowl, mix the figs with the chopped shallot and goat cheese. Set the bowl aside.
  3. In a food processor fitted with a shredding disc, grate the potatoes, onions, garlic and shallot.
  4. Rinse and drain the grated potato mixture. Squeeze out all of the liquid.
  5. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  6. Mix the rosemary, salt, pepper, egg and flour into the potato mixture.
  7. Heat about a ½ an inch of oil in a large frying pan.
  8. Form the potato mixture in to a small thin patty in your hand and place a tablespoon or so of goat cheese filling in the middle. Cover it with a small thin layer of potato mixture and seal along the edges.
  9. Fry in the oil until browned and crisp on both sides.
  10. Drain on a cooling rack or paper towels.
  11. Enjoy!

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Golden Beet Latkes + Hamilton Beach Giveaway

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So I woke up this week and realized that it’s already the middle of December. The snow clued me in a little, but the giant 8 ft. tall santa and reindeer on my neighbor’s lawn is probably what really did me in. Anyways, it’s December and the holidays are almost here and I’m over the moon about it. Can’t you tell?

With Chanukah almost here, I need to continue my tradition of coming up with some new latke recipes. On last year’s menu, there were some carrot ginger latkes and some wild mushroom & roasted garlic latkes. Both were amazing. How could I top that? I really wanted to go for something somewhat simple for my first latke of the season. You really have to ease into it. I decided to turn to one of my favorite root veggies. Golden beets. I definitely don’t show enough love for the humble golden beet often enough. So a latke it must be.

beets

Hamilton Beach recently sent me their Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor to check out and use in my holiday cooking. What better way to test out a food processor then to abuse using it during my latke making fest?! It really is the perfect way to check out what it’s made of.

hamilton beach

I loved the simplicity of the set up as I took it out of the box. Everything just stacked together. There was very little question as to what piece goes where. I also loved how the shredding disc is reversible. One side slices and one side shreds. Another thing I noted as I took hold of the new appliance was how light it is. It didn’t feel cumbersome in my arms or on my kitchen counter.

When it got down to making the machine work, I was also pleasantly surprised and impressed. Beets are much firmer than potatoes, so I figured that shredding the beets would be a pretty good test. When I placed the beets in the feeding tube and pushed down, the beets were shredded in seconds! The machine was really strong and worked really well!

shredded beets

Later in the day, I tested the machine with some dried fruit and nuts. I tested with that mixture because I knew it would be difficult to cut through. and it’s what I used for charoset at Pesach. If this machine can handle my Passover Charoset, then it definitely is a winner! And lo and behold, it worked! It attacked the dried apricots and figs with gusto!

I didn’t think that a budget-friendly machine would work for me, but so glad that this Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor works well! This food processor would be the perfect addition to my year-round kitchen gear AND for my pesach kitchen gear. I love how this machine processes the food so fast and is so easy to handle. I also love that it comes with the extra shredding and slicing disc.  I would definitely recommend this food processor to anyone! Good news for you, I’ve got one of these Hamilton Beach Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor to give away!

Anyways, back to these golden beet latkes.

Here’s what I did.

I washed and peeled the beets and onions and then I quartered them. I processed them in the food processor with the shredding disc.

I transferred the mixture to a bowl and then added the chopped garlic, chopped dill, salt and pepper, egg and the flour. I mixed everything together well.

I then heated up some oil in my fry pan, shaped the mixture in to latke patties and then fried them until browned and crispy on both sides. I drained the latkes on paper towels.

latkes frying

I served the latkes with sour cream, though next time, I think I will serve them with a nice lemon aioli.

These latkes are delicious.

Check out the recipe below and don’t forget to enter to win your own Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor!



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Golden Beet Latkes
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 golden beets
  • 2 small onions
  • 2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 tbsp. almond flour, (you can also use regular all-purpose flour)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying
  • - See more at: http://confident-cook.com/2014/12/golden-beet-latkes.html#sthash.8QM4ZrrJ.dpuf
Instructions
  1. Wash, peel and quarter the beets
  2. peel and quarter the onions
  3. Using the shredding disc on your food processor, shred the beets and onions.
  4. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients
  5. Mix everything together well
  6. Form beet mixture in to thin patties and fry in hot oil until browned on both sides.
  7. Drain on paper towels.
  8. Serve with some sour cream and dill or a lemon aioli.
  9. Enjoy!

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**Hamilton Beach provided me with this food processor to review, but all opinions and the recipe are my own.

Gluten Free Raspberry Chocolate Tart

So much about Passover, the customs and my memories – revolve around food. It goes beyond the foods that we aren’t allowed to eat. I’m always thinking about what we do and can eat. I find that the easiest part about Passover are the main and side dishes. It’s the desserts that are tough. What do you do when it seems like you can’t eat anything? We adapt. There’s always chocolate and fruit to fall back on.

raspberry-tart

Every special meal must include chocolate. I feel like that is a written rule in my book. This tart that I am sharing with you reminds me of my mom’s flour-less chocolate cake that she often serves at the seder,  along with some other chocolate treats I grew up with. One of my favorite flavor combinations is raspberry and chocolate. Growing up in Minneapolis, if someone brought the fabulous Raspberry Chocolate Torte from Gelpe’s Bakery to the house on Shabbat – everyone was happy. Another favorite that I remember as a kid, was the Raspberry Chocolate Chip ice cream from Sebastian Joe’s. All three of these fabulous treats were inspiration for this raspberry chocolate tart I am sharing with you. This tart will be served at one of our Yom Tov lunch meals, where we tend to feast on dairy. Happy to have a dairy dessert.



Gluten Free Raspberry Chocolate Tart
Ingredients:

For the crust:
2 cups almond meal
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. sugar

For the filling:
1 cup raspberry jam
10 oz. dark or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped, or use good quality chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. salt

raspberries for garnishing


Directions:

For the crust:
Preheat over to 350°F.

Melt the butter.

Mix the almond meal, sugar and butter together in a small mixing bowl. It will be pretty crumbly.

Press the mixture in to a tart pan. Try to get up the sides as much as possible. I use a non-stick pan and do not need to butter or spray the pan. I would recommend buttering the pan a little if it doesn’t have the non-stick coating.

Bake the crust in the oven for about 18-20 minutes. Check to see if the crust gets too brown.

Remove the crust from the oven and cool completely.

Note: If you want to make the crust pareve, I would recommend using coconut oil in place of the butter.

crust



For the filling:
Heat up the heavy cream in a small sauce pan. Heat it until it just starts to boil and then remove from heat.

Place the chocolate in a small mixing bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Let it sit for a few minutes. After a few minutes, whisk the chocolate completely. It should be shiny. It will thicken as it cools.

Warm the jam in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

Spread the jam along the bottom of the tart crust.

Pour over the ganache filling and spread evenly with spatula. Chill in the fridge to set.

Once set, garnish with some fresh raspberries.

Serve.  Enjoy!

Note: If you want to make the filling pareve, I would recommend using coconut milk or the non-dairy whipping cream in place of the heavy cream.

tart

Holy Macaron!

This post is long overdue. I have had it sitting in the queue for a while now, and I’ve had the photos sitting on my desktop even longer.

I started to cut out the gluten in mine and my younger daughter’s world several months ago. In doing so, I needed to come up with some sweet and tasty treats for when the craving struck. While I like some of those gluten free flour blend alternatives, I prefer to make things that are intentionally gluten free. I seem to have better luck with those.

I have long wanted to conquer the French macaron challenge. Those little almond treats that can come in a rainbow of colors. When done right, they are so good. When done wrong, it can be a sticky mess.

Like any baking recipe, if you follow the recipe properly, they will come out properly and everyone will be happy. Have no fear. It’s really not too complicated.

Before you get to work, make sure you have everything ready:

  • 2 baking sheets (good, heavy kind)
  • parchment paper
  • a piping bag
  • nothing larger than a 1/2 inch round tip

Basic Macarons
Ingredients:
3/4 cup almond meal
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 large egg whites (some people suggest using older eggs). Let the eggs sit out for a few hours before using in this recipe.
1/4 cup superfine sugar

Filling:
Nutella or your favorite chocolate spread, jam, ganache.  The list is endless. This is your place to get creative.

Preheat oven to 350.

In a food processor, process the confectioners’ sugar and the almond meal together. You shouldn’t have too many specks left. Some people recommend sifting the mixture, but I skipped this step and my macarons came out fine.

In a bowl, beat the eggs whites until foamy. You should see soft peaks.

Slowly beat in the superfine sugar. You will see that the eggs whites start to become shiny. If you wanted to add flavoring to the cookie base, this is the point that you would fold it in.

Slowly fold in the almond meal mixture in to the egg white mixture. Don’t over mix.

Spoon the batter in to your pastry bag. Alternatively, you can use a large ziploc bag and cut the corner instead of the piping tip.

Pipe out 1-inch rounds on the parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Tap the bottom of the baking sheet against the surface to let out the air.

Let the baking sheets sit for 30 minutes to rest. You will see the the tops of the batter rounds will look a little dull.

Once rested, reduce the oven temperarture to 325.

Bake only one sheet of macarons at a time. 

Place cookie sheet in oven for 10 minutes. When done, the cookies will look solid and crisp, but do not let them brown.

Let macarons cool a few minutes, then transfer to wire cooling racks.

Repeat with the second tray of cookies.

Sandwich a couple teaspoons of filling between the two cookies.

IMG_0845

Enjoy!

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