Yukon Gold Potato and Sunchoke Latkes

Would you like to know the key to making really good latkes? Like most things, the devil is in the details. Here’s a quick breakdown of what I think makes my latkes taste so damn good:

  • I squeeze out as much moisture as I possibly can. We want crispy latkes!
  • I don’t use traditional flour, I use cornstarch or arrowroot. Just like with my fried chicken, I’ve discovered that using a pure starch instead of flour results in a crispier product.
  • Make sure the size of the latkes is consistent and your pan is at the right temperature. The potatoes should sizzle loudly when they hit the pan, but there shouldn’t be smoke.
  • Always make your latkes as close as you can to when you are going to serve them. Chefs refer to the process of waiting til the very last possible minute to do something as “a la minuté”. Just remember though, it’s a fine line between “a la minuté” and procrastination, so have all your supplies ready to go so you can knock this project out when the time is right.

Yukon Gold and Sunchoke Latkes

Yukon Gold and Sunchoke Latkes

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Yukon Gold and Sunchoke Latkes

Ingredients

12 latkes
  • ¼ cup yellow onion, minced
  • 6 tbsp ghee
  • 2 lb yukon gold potatoes
  • To Serve:
  • ½ lb Jerusalem artichokes
  • ½ lb cured salmon
  • 3 egg whites
  • ¼ cup creme fraiche
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • Sea salt to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped chives
  • Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Grate the potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes in a food processor, using the course shredder attachment. Alternately you can use a cheese grater. Once they are shredded, place them in a large bowl of water, agitating them to rinse off the extra starch. Drain the potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes from the water (I’ve started using a salad spinner to get my potatoes even dryer), and working in fistfull sized batches, place the shredded veggies in a clean kitchen towel and twist to squeeze out all excess moisture. Water and latkes do not get along.
  • Once the veggies are dry, place them in a medium sized bowl and add the egg whites and cornstarch. Mince a quarter cup of onion and add it to the mix. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Divide into 12 balls and place on a sheet tray.
  • Heat a griddle or skillet and add a small amount of ghee. Once the ghee has melted start individually pressing the balls between your hands to flatten. I give them another squeeze here over an empty bowl to catch any extra moisture, as the potatoes will continue to leech water. Add the patties to the hot pan, you should hear a sizzle if your pan is at the right temperature. Work in batches so as not to overcrowd your pan. Cook the patties for about 4 minutes then flip and continue to cook on the other side. Adjust the heat if needed, and cook for about 4 more minutes. Both sides should be golden brown. Remove from the pan and lightly blot on a paper towel.
  • Serve on a platter with cured salmon, creme fraiche, chopped hard boiled eggs and chives.

Nutrition information

Curried Chickpea Cakes

 

Curried Chickpea Cakes

These aren’t just a perfect vegetarian and gluten free weeknight dinner. They also work great on a party buffet!

Yield: 5 servings

1 can chickpeas (15 oz), drained and rinsed

1/2 cup zucchini, grated

1/2 cup squash, grated

1/2 cup carrots, grated

1/2 cup green peas, cooked

1/4 cup chickpea flour

1 tbsp ground flaxseed

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp curry powder

1 tbsp garlic, grated on a microplane (about 3 cloves)

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3 tbsp ghee or neutral oil

Sauce:

1 cup greek yogurt

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves and some stem

1 tbsp fresh mint leaves

1 tbsp green onion

1 clove garlic, grated

Sea salt to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

To make the sauce add the greek yogurt, cilantro, mint, green onion, grated garlic and buttermilk into a blender. Season with salt and pepper and puree until smooth.

To make the curry chickpea cakes assemble your food processor with your grater attachment, or using a hand held grater, grate the squash and zucchini. Set the grated veggies in a large bowl. Don’t worry about cleaning the bowl of the food processor.

After draining and rinsing the chickpeas, add them to your food processor and pulse it on and off for about 45 seconds. You want a lot of texture, the chickpeas should be starting to stick together, but you still want to see chunks of unsmashed chickpeas. You could also use a potato smasher as well as a mortar and pestle.

Add the chickpeas to the large bowl with the veggies, along with the shredded carrots, peas, chickpea flour, flaxseed, turmeric, curry powder, grated garlic, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well until combined.

Divide the mixture into 10 patties, or 20 if you would like to serve them as a small appetizer. Use your hands to shape them into cakes.

Heat a cast iron grill pan or a large sauté pan on high heat. Add enough ghee to coat the pan, and then lay the cakes in the pan in a single layer. Cook on both sides, about 5 minutes each, letting a nice golden crust form. Serve the hot cakes on a platter with the sauce in a small bowl on the side.

Gluten Free Jambalaya

One of the things I love the most about traveling is learning different cultures through their culinary traditions. And when you think of cultures filled with vibrant life and joyful traditions I bet New Orleans comes to mind. Full of flavor and love, New Orleans cuisine satisfies the tummy and the soul!

I remember the moment I found out about sweet rice flour being a substitute for flour in a traditional roux (butter and flour cooked together to thicken a sauce). I felt like the heavens had just opened back up for me! Jambalaya was attainable! Gravy was once again possible! Just make sure you use sweet rice flour and not regular rice flour. They are not interchangeable!

Jambalaya

Yield: 8 servings

1 pound large shrimp (26-30’s), peeled and deveined, shells reserved

4 tbs + 1 tbs butter

4 tbs sweet rice flour

2 andouille sausages, cut in ½ inch thick coins

1  cup tasso, small diced (about 6 oz)

1 cup yellow onion, small diced

½ cup celery

½ cup green pepper

1 tbs tomato paste

1 tbs creole seasoning

2 qts chicken stock

1 ½ cups arborio rice

½ pound crawfish tails

½ pound crab meat, picked

salt and pepper to taste

2 lemons, zested

Place 1 quart of water in a small saucepot. Add the shrimp shells, bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Let the shells steep for 4 minutes, then strain, reserving only the liquid.

In the meantime, make the roux by placing 4 tbs of butter and 4 tbs of sweet rice flour in a small saucepan, and cook on medium heat, stirring every 2 minutes or so, until it takes on a dark color, about the shade of roasted peanut butter.

Take a large enameled dutch oven and heat up the remaining tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the andouille sausages. Cook until golden brown and then remove from the pan. Reserve.

Cook the tasso in the same pan on medium heat until the fat is rendered out, about 8 minutes. Next add the celery, green peppers and onions, stirring occasionally.. Sauté for another 8 minutes, then add the tomato paste and creole seasoning. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.

Add the chicken stock, shrimp stock and the rice. Bring to a simmer, then turn down to low heat and cover the pot with a lid, stirring occasionally. Allow to cook for about 25 minutes, or until rice is just tender. Add more liquid if desired.

To finish the jambalaya turn the heat up to medium and add the shrimp, andouille and the roux. Stir them in and allow to cook for about 3 minutes, until the shrimp are starting to turn from translucent to pink and opaque. Add the andouille, crawfish and crab meat. Season with salt, pepper and lemon zest. Serve hot or cool and refrigerate. Jambalaya will be good stored up to 3 days.