Rosemary, Fig & Goat Cheese Latkes

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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!

latkes-tower

Carrot Ginger Latkes

carrot-ginger-latkes

Another night of Chanukah, another latke recipe. Or so it goes.

These latkes were inspired by one of me and my daughter’s favorite soup recipes. We both love carrot ginger soup in the fall.

I made a carrot latke years ago, and I vaguely recall it being tasty, so I thought I would give this a try.

I shredded some carrots,  an onion,  a small potato,  some ginger and some cilantro in the Cuisinart food processor.

I transferred the mixture to a bowl and drained whatever liquid I could out of the veggie mixture.

Next, I added some flour, eggs, garlic powder, salt and pepper to the mix.

I heated up the oil in my fry pan and fried the patties until done. You have to keep your eyes on the latkes because they can go from perfect to burnt very quickly. I drained the latkes on a cooling rack set over paper towels.

I served these latkes with cilantro and an option of sour cream or horseradish sauce.

These latkes will definitely be made again!

Carrot Ginger Latkes
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 6 carrots, peeled
  • 1 small Idaho Russet potato, peeled
  • 1 small onion, peeled
  • 2 tbsp. fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • oil for frying
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Wash and peel the veggies.
  2. With the shredding blade on a food processor, shred the carrots, potato, onion, ginger and cilantro.
  3. Transfer everything to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Drain as much liquid as possible from the shredded vegetables.
  5. Mix in the salt, pepper, flour, garlic powder, flour and eggs.
  6. Heat up about an inch of oil in a large fry pan.
  7. Fry the latkes, carefully flipping as they began to crisp up.
  8. Drain the cooked latkes on a paper towel lined cooling rack.
  9. Sample the latke and adjust seasoning as needed.
  10. Serve with a latke topping of your choice.
  11. Enjoy!

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Wild Mushroom & Roasted Garlic Latkes

mushroom-and-potato-latkes

We light the first candle on our menorah for Chanukah tonight. My kids are so excited. Dreidels and chocolate gelt have already begun to make an appearance in our house. The kids are curious what we have in store for the holiday. Chanukah is always a fun time in our home. As a kid, I patiently waited for Chanukah to start so we could light candles and open some presents. The light of the menorah against the dark night is always beautiful.

Chanukah is also one of my favorite foodie holidays. To commemorate the miracle of the oil in the ancient temple, there’s the tradition to eat fried foods during the holiday. Who doesn’t love fried foods? That Chanukah happens to fall at the same time as Thanksgiving in the US – extra foodie fun!

I try to come up with new latke ideas each year. Some years I’ve focused on a different root veggies, other years I’ve added some herbs. This latke idea came to me just the other day as I was making dinner. Mushrooms are one of my favorite veggies. Why not try and add them to latkes? I had a bag of dried wild mushrooms that I thought would complement the latkes very well. I paired the wild mushrooms with some sage and roasted garlic. Latke perfection! I’m so glad I made these right away!

I roasted a head of garlic and then I soaked the mushrooms in boiling water.

soak-mushrooms

I shredded the potatoes, mushrooms and onions in my Cuisinart food processor. I then mixed everything together and added some eggs, potatoes and sage.

I fried up the latkes and then drained them on a wire rack lined with paper towels.

fry-in-oil

drain-on-towels

These latkes were a huge hit! I highly recommend serving them with sour cream. Enjoy and Have a Happy Chanukah!


Wild Mushroom & Roasted Garlic Latkes
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 head of garlic, roasted
  • 5 Idaho Russet Potatoes
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 cups of dried wild mushrooms
  • 5 oz. cremini mushooms
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • ½ cup flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • oil for frying
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Cut off the top quarter-inch of the head of garlic to expose the cloves. Drizzle some olive oil over the garlic and wrap in foil. Place in oven for 30 minutes and roast. Then allow to cool.
  2. Rinse the dried mushrooms and soak them in boiling water for about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. Peel and quarter the onions and potatoes.
  4. Rinse and quarter the Cremini mushrooms.
  5. With a shredding disc, process the potatoes, onion and mushrooms in the food processor.
  6. Transfer to a colander and squeeze as much liquid out of the potatoes as possible. I sometimes like to place them in a tea towel and squeeze more water from there like I did with this latke recipe.
  7. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
  8. Squeeze out the roasted garlic cloves in to the bowl.
  9. Add in the chopped sage leaves.
  10. Stir in the eggs, flour, salt and pepper.
  11. Heat up the oil in a deep fry pan.
  12. From potato mixture in to patties and fry. Flip the latke over when you see the edges begin to brown.
  13. Transfer the finished latke to a rack positioned over paper towels to drain and cool.
  14. These latkes are great with sour cream.
  15. Enjoy!

latkeswithtext

Creamy Roasted Garlic and Potato Soup & Zucchini Ribbon Pasta with Veggies and Cream Sauce

This year, Passover falls out very early in the calendar year. Most years, I am pretty put together with my Passover plans, but this year, I have put off a lot of my menu planning. The opportunity to write some recipes featuring Temp Tee cream cheese for JoyofKosher essentially got me to wake me up.  Passover is right around the corner.

My seder menus are pretty easy to plan. The menu has been pretty much the same since my childhood. It’s those days in between that really get you. I usually work during the intermediate days of Passover, so just like any other day, I need to come up with a fast and easy dinner. Because it’s still March and we are still feeling bits of winter, we are still eating nice and warm foods right now.  My Creamy Roasted Garlic & Potato Soup and my Zucchini Ribbons with Veggies and Cream Sauce are the perfect dairy dishes for weeknight dinners or lunch.

souptemptee

The Creamy Roasted Garlic & Potato Soup comes together easily and pretty fast. The toughest part is having to wait for the garlic to roast, which takes about a half hour. Once you have that done, it’s smooth sailing. I always have vegetable broth on hand to make soups like this. The combination of the use of the immersion blender while adding the cream cheese, gives this soup an amazing creamy texture and flavor. Check out the recipe over at JoyofKosher.com.

Zucchini-Strips

The Zucchini Ribbons with Veggies and Cream Sauce is my answer to lack of good pasta on Passover. Nobody in my house will eat the packaged Passover potato pasta, so we improvise. Instead of making a noodle out of eggs, we look to our veggies for that texture. By using a peeler or cheese slicer, you can easily get a thin ribbon of zucchini. If you have a julienne peeler, you can achieve more of a spaghetti look and feel. I paired this dish up with whatever veggies I had on hand. The dish is easily adapted. In the past, I’ve simply sautéed the squash in olive oil and herbs. I wanted something richer this time around, and the Temp Tee cream cheese was the perfect addition. The cream sauce really turned this vegetable from a side dish to a dinner meal. You can check out the recipe here.

Creamy Roasted Garlic & Potato Soup               Zucchini Ribbons with Veggies & Cream Sauce

Corned Beef Hash Egg Rolls

My mom came to town for the weekend. A shabbat with family is always wonderful.

In my family, a visit = food. When I go back to the midwest, I bring smoked fish and bagels. When they come to me, I also get special care packages. In this case, my mom graciously brought some packages of smoked meat from Chicago’s famed Romanian Kosher butcher. That place has some of the most amazing meats. I don’t eat that stuff anymore, but the husband is thrilled to pieces when there is meat in the house. Especially really good smoked meats. What a treat!
The husband and my mom grazed over various deli sandwiches over the weekend, but we still had some leftover corned beef.
I thought back to my days as a waitress. One of the most popular dishes in the morning, was corned beef hash with eggs. There was this amazing meaty/salty smell that came off of the platters. I was thinking of just making that for dinner with some eggs for the husband, but I wanted to change it up a bit.
I had some egg roll wrappers sitting in the fridge. We’ve had pastrami egg rolls before, and those were a hit. I wondered how corned beef hash would work in an egg roll. It turns out that it tastes awesome. Not just because they are fried. They are even good when baked. The combination of the flavors along with the crunch of the egg rolls are perfect.



Corned Beef Hash Egg Rolls
Ingredients:

1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 medium potatoes parboiled, cooled and cubed
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 pound of fatty corned beef (the deli kind), cubed/chopped
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
2 tsp. paprika
egg roll wrappers
vegetable oil for frying

Directions:

Heat up the 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a large pan. Add in your chopped onion and cook for a few minutes.

Add in the chopped potatoes and cook for another five minutes until you start to see some browning on the onions and potatoes.

Confident Cook, Hesitant Baker

Add in the peppers and the garlic and cook another minute.

Now it’s time to add the meat and the spices. Let everything cook for a few minutes. Set aside to cool a little.

Corned Beef Hash Egg Rolls

Set up your assembly station: your bowl of filling, a board to roll up the egg rolls and a brush with some water to seal the egg rolls.

Place an egg roll wrapper on a flat surface. Have it facing you in a diamond shape.

Lay some filling across the middle and fold the bottom in.

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Next, fold the sides in and finish rolling up.

Seal the egg rolls with some water brushed on lightly.

Fry the egg rolls in about a 1/4 inch of vegetable oil. Fry a few minutes on each side until crisp.

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Serve the egg rolls with a dipping sauce. Some Thousand Island dressing or a spicy mayo work well.

Enjoy!

Corned Beef Hash Egg Rolls

Potato Leek Soup

Last week I picked up my younger daughter from daycare and was informed that there were some issues with her food and eating. I got all nervous. I couldn’t imagine what the problem could be. I prepare her lunches. I send it to daycare. She is fed. End of story, right? Well, I was wrong. Apparently, her well-meaning teacher is concerned. She doesn’t like that my daughter gets the same rendition of food each week. There is some variety, but I do admit, it is pretty predictable. The teacher was concerned that we were depriving her and decided to take matters in to her own hands. She fed my daughter some of the non-kosher, sodium-filled, school served chicken soup. There was a meeting after school discussing the events of the day. I went home with some guilty-parent syndrome. Maybe I do need to start sending some new lunch options, but what will she eat? So I am on the road to becoming a super-duper lunch maker. For the younger daughter only. The older daughter still insists on peanut butter sandwiches, cream cheese sandwiches, or pasta in a thermos. Ah Well.

Potato Leek Soup is a wonderful hearty and warm soup. It is perfect for chilly winter nights along with a salad. This soup only works when you stick to the recipe. You should never skimp by substituting the butter, or anything else for that matter. It is a very simple soup and comes together in minutes.

Potato Leek Soup
Ingredients:

4 leeks, only the whites, halved, washed, and sliced (Leeks are very sandy – wash carefully)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 stick of butter
5 medium potatoes, diced

1 carton of veggie broth, or 4-5 cups
4 cups of water

salt
pepper
2 teaspoons of marjoram


In a large pot, saute the leeks, onions, and garlic in the butter. Cook on medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

Add in the diced potatoes. Stir to coat the potatoe in some of that yummy butter.

Add in the broth, water, and seasonings.

After the soup comes to a boil, turn it to medium-low. Let it simmer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, mash the potatoes and stir, or blend with an immersion blender to your desired consistency. I prefer the blender method.

In crafty news, I knit my first hat!

Cooking with my Dad: Vegetable Samosas

I grew up in a family of foodies. My ideas about food and how to cook it are definitely shaped by my parents. I often find myself calling them to run recipe ideas by them, in addition to the standard needed parenting advice. When I come home to my kitchen, I miss my parents looking over my shoulder telling me how something needs to be cooked or how to accomplish the task better.

I was overjoyed by the opportunity to cook with my father on a recent trip back home. He is an excellant father and an excellent cook. I was still curious to see how it would play out as he is a bit possessive of his kitchen. Originally I thought I would do some sort of traditional Minnesota dish like hotdish that has never seen the light of my parent’s kitchen or mine, but instead we chose to cook something that we knew we would enjoy eating.

We chose to do a slight adaptation to Bonnie Stern’s samosa recipe from her Heartsmart Cooking series. It’s is an ode to my parent’s cooking roots, as they took cooking lessons at her cooking school in Toronto back in the day. Below is the recipe as we prepared it.

Vegetable Samosas

2 potatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
2 carrots or 8 baby carrots, diced
2 tbsp. chopped ginger
1 red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup of peas

1 cup of hummus, (the recipe called for chickpeas, which we didn’t have)
1 scallion, chopped
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. of garam masala
2 tsp. curry
1 tsp. fenugreek
Egg Roll or Wonton Skins
2 tbsp. oil for brushing
Preheat oven to 375.

Begin by sauteeing the potato/onion/carrot mixture in olive oil. Sautee for around 10 minutes. After about 8 minutes, add in the ginger and the other spices. Saute a couple more minutes.


Add in the peas and the hummus, stir a bit. Add in the chopped scallions. Add in the water. Let everything cook until most of the liquid evaporates.

On a baking sheet lined with buttered/greased parchment paper, lay out the wonton/egg roll skins. Put 1-2 tablespoons into center of square and then fold into a triangular pocket. Seal the edges with water.


Brush the triangles with olive oil.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until browned. Enjoy!

They were yummy! I will definitely make this again. I think I prefer these to the fried version that I have at the Indian restaurants.I will add some garlic to it next time.

Basic Latkes

Happy Chanukah/Hanukkah! Make it a happy one, whichever way you choose to spell it.

During the holiday, we usually make latkes twice. Each year we do the basic recipe, and then later in the week, we try and come up with a unique “gourmet” version. Stay tuned for the gourmet flavor.

Tonight, we made and enjoyed our basic, easy latke recipe. I will not say it’s a “no-fail” latke, because anyone can mess up, but it’s pretty good. Even my picky 7-year-old partook in the latke joy tonight.

LatkesIngredients:

4 largeish yukon gold potatoes
1 onion
1/4 cup of flour
2-3 eggs
salt and pepper
vegetable oil

Peel and quarter your onion and potatoes.

In a food processor, grate the onions and potatoes together, using the grating blade. If you are deficient in nice kitchen appliances, use a hand grater.

Pour the grated goodness into a tea towel. Squeeze out the starchy water from the mixture into a sink. This keeps the latkes from getting a starchy brown color. This brown is a greyer color than the fried brown color. If your latke mixture is too starchy and moist, it can fall apart and have a pastey consistency.

Dump the squeezed out potatoes and onions into a mixing bowl. Mix in the eggs, flour, salt, and pepper.

Heat up a fry pan with around an inch of vegetable oil.
Plop the potato mixture using a tablespoon in to the fry pan. Flip over when you see the edges begin to brown.

Drain on a cookie sheet covered in paper towels.

Serve the latkes hot with sour cream and/or applesauce. We prefer sour cream in our house. Never use ketchup or mayonaisse on your latkes.

If you plan to serve them at a later time, reheat on a cookie sheet at 200 degrees.
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