For dinner Tuesday night I had planned to make an udon noodle soup with a poached egg in it. But, for some reason I found myself in need of something crunchy. The thought of consuming a thin soup with a runny egg (despite my love for runny eggs), was almost enough to make me gag. At the last minute I decided to change it up and make a recipe I stumbled across not very long ago on a blog called More Than Burnt Toast. There was something about a latke: crunchy outsides (with those wonderful extra crispy parts on the very edges!) and warm insides; their intrinsic quality made warmer by the addition of curry powder that just hit the spot. The recipe I used was adapted from Cooking Light magazine, and so it's fairly healthy. I've made some of my own modifications: I used more curry powder than she called for (cause I really really like it), and I did not put parsley in the latkes; only in the salsa. The curry powder I use is a mix that I buy from Penzey's Spices in Chestnut Hill. It contains: turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, ginger, nutmeg, fennel, cinnamon, white pepper, cardamom, cloves, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Finally, I'd recommend pressing your shredded veggies with a great deal more effort than the back of a spoon (I used my entire hand/fist). Not sure if it was that my shred was much thinner than hers and let out more water, or what, but my shredded squash and potatoes had an amazing amount of liquid in them! I ended up adding an extra tablespoon of flour to tighten it up a bit more. The apple salsa is absolutely delightful and compliments the deep warmth of flavors so well with its slightly sweet, slightly tart crispness (Hint: it's so way better the second day!).
Curried Butternut Squash and Potato Latkes with Apple Salsa
Juice of 2 limes
1/2 of a thinly sliced red onion
1 finely chopped de-seeded jalapeno
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
5/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3 cups shredded peeled butternut squash (about 3/4 pound)
3 cups shredded peeled baking potato (about 3/4 pound)
3 TBL grated onion
7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tsp curry powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
Combine apple and lime juice in a bowl; toss. Add onion, chile, 1 tablespoon cilantro, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; toss. Cover and chill.
Combine squash, potato, and onion in a colander; drain 30 minutes, pressing occasionally with the back of a spoon until barely moist. Combine potato mixture, remaining 4 tablespoons cilantro, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, flour, and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl; toss well.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Spoon 1/4 cup potato mixture loosely into a dry measuring cup. Pour mixture into pan; flatten slightly. Repeat procedure 4 times to form 5 latkes. Sauté 3 1/2 minutes on each side or until golden brown and thoroughly cooked. Remove latkes from pan; keep warm in oven. Repeat procedure twice with remaining oil and potato mixture to yield 14 latkes total. Serve with salsa.
Adapted from: More Than Burnt Toast
Originally by: David Bonom, Cooking Light ; December 2010
Incidentally, Tuesday also happened to be Valentine's Day. I'm not going to say much about that other than I am perfectly willing to admit that it was a pretty sad day, in general, for me. Last year's Valentine's Day was spectacular and perfect, and I suppose I just felt sort of mournful. Not necessarily about having lost the person I spent it with last year, but about how something so beautiful and wonderful is gone from my life, and deep down inside I suppose I don't want it to be... So, this was my Valentine's meal. I ate a lovely plate of these warm latkes on the couch with my roommate, Tricia. We happily watched Jeopardy (it was the college episode so we knew more of the answers and felt smarter!), and shared in our collective love of food. She listened kindly as I It was just the kind of crunchy-salty-sweet-warm comfort that I needed. It helped me pretty pleasantly survive what could have otherwise been a really bad day. Isn't it wonderful how food can do that? Sustenance, but not just the kind our bodies need; sometimes the kind our hearts need, too.
Alex's Wine Rack
- A semi-sweet Riesling would be suitable
- Chateau St. Michelle Harvest Select Riesling, PLCB code 3221, $11.99
- If you want something sweeter, go to a Moscato or Moscato D'asti
- For something drier, Chateau St. Michelle, Riesling PLCB code 8626, $11.99