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
 
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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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Nacho Stuffed Tater Tots

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This month’s Kosher Connection challenge is all about the Superbowl. What kinds of snacks do you like to eat while watching the big game? On Superbowl Sunday, we typically dine on a variety of appetizers. Last year, I vaguely recall a mix of onion rings, french fries, chicken wings and beer. I’m sure there was more to it though. This year, I’m all about finding good vegetarian snacks for the big game day.

I asked my husband what he was in the mood for this year. The first thing that he came up with was some loaded nachos. I told him that nachos were too basic and we had to do better than that!

I’ve been wanting to make some homemade tater tots for a while now. A while back, there was an article by Mark Bittman in The New York Times where he showed how to make some homemade tots. I’ve been wanting to make that recipe ever since it came out. I decided that I could stuff the tater tots with some of the typical nacho toppings.

Would it work? Would it taste good? I had to find out!

I parboiled some Idaho Russet Potatoes and then grated them along with some onions. I added some salt, pepper and corn starch to the mix, as Mark Bittman suggests.

tater-tot-potato-mixture

I processed some black beans along with some fire roasted green chiles in the food processor. I mixed up that mixture with some cheese, corn and chili powder.

I placed some of the potato mixture in the palm of my hand and then a dab of the bean mixture at the center and formed it in to a traditional tater tot shape, making sure to cover the entire center with potato.

shaped-tater-tots

I fried each tot lightly and then drained it and finished cooking it in the oven. It’s best to finish the baking process on a rack over a baking sheet.

tater-tots-in-pan

I dipped the tater tots in a salsa-yogurt mixture.

The verdict? Definitely a fun recipe!

tatertots


Nacho Stuffed Tater Tots
 
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Ingredients
  • 5 Idaho Russet Potatoes
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch
  • ¼ cup corn
  • ¼ cup black beans, cooked and drained or canned
  • ¼ cup fire roasted green chiles
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • oil for frying
  • additional salt and pepper as needed

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400
  2. Parboil the potatoes until tender
  3. Grate the potatoes in a large mixing bowl
  4. Stir salt, pepper and corn starch in to the potatoes
  5. In the food processor, process together the black beans, chili powder, cheese and chiles. Stir in the corn. Transfer to a small mixing bowl.
  6. Take a tablespoon of the potato mixture and place in the palm of your hand. Dab a teaspoon of the bean/cheese mixture and place in the center of the potatoes. Shape the potatoes around the bean mixture and form in to a traditional tater tot mixture. Repeat until you have used up your potatoes.
  7. Heat up the oil, about a 1-inch deep, in a fry pan.
  8. Pan fry the tots until browned.
  9. Transfer the tots to a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack.
  10. Bake the tots until desired crispness.

nacho-stuffed-tater-tots

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!

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