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!

latkes-tower

Braised Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts get such a bad rap. They are always ragged on as the demon vegetable of youth. I don’t remember eating them as a kid. Probably because they are not so gut-friendly. Regardless, I love me some brussel sprouts. They are super easy to prepare and take on great flavors.

Always use fresh brussel sprouts. The frozen kind gets too gummy. Take your brussel sprouts and peel the messy looking outer layers. Slice them in half. Wash them off. Get your sauté pan ready. Chop up some shallots and garlic and sauté in olive oil spray or a drop of olive oil. Add in the brussel sprouts. Saute a few more minutes. Add in equal parts white wine and vegetable broth. Around ½ cup each. Cover with a lid and let steam for 10 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates. Done! You have a yummy veggie side dish with no fear. Don’t forget the glass of white wine to drink alongside!

Tarragon Chicken

Happy Monday. I realized when I got home this evening that my fridge was pretty empty. A few veggies. Not much to work with. I usually do fruit and veggie shopping on Sundays, but it just didn’t happen yesterday.

I had taken out some chicken drumsticks to defrost last night – but had nothing planned for them. Drumsticks are always a hit with my daughter. When she was around 2, she decided to rename drumsticks with the name “poonie.” Not sure where it came from. She is creative like that. Mittens were called “pockins.”

Based on the contents of my fridge, or lack thereof, I came up with a menu of tarragon chicken, rice with peas, and steamed broccoli.

 

Hint: When cooking with wine, only use wine that you are willing to drink.

Most tarragon chicken recipes I have seen have some sort of cream base in it. Since we keep kosher, here is the recipe I came up with:

Ingredients

    • cut up chicken – I used a package of drumsticks

 

  • salt

 

 

  • fresh ground black pepper

 

 

  • olive oil

 

 

  • 5 Shallots

 

 

  • 1 onion

 

 

  • 5 cloves of garlic

 

 

  • 2 tbsp dried tarragon or a good handful of fresh tarragon – chopped

 

 

  • 1-2 Tbsp dijon mustard

 

 

  • 3/4 cup of good white wine

 

 

  • 1 cup of broth (chicken or veggie)

 

 

  • Chopped Plum Tomatoes (1-2)

 

Sprinkle salt and pepper on your chicken. Brown the chicken in olive oil about 5-10 minutes.

Chop up your garlic, onions, and shallots. Add it to the browned chicken. Let it saute 5 minutes.

Add in the liquids and the mustard. Stir a bit and bring up the browned bits. Bring to a boil, then turn the stove to low. Cover until chicken is done, around 20-30 minutes, depending on cut. Check on your chicken to make sure there is still some liquid in the pan. Throw in the tomatoes a few minutes before you are ready to eat. Yum! It is wonderful served with rice. Enjoy!

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