Fancy Latkes

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I am all about the fancy Latkes… and just because I’m doing whole30 doesn’t mean I’m skipping out… It just means I’ve got to be a bit more careful with what I’m using. If the potatoes are not starchy enough, then the latkes will need flour that I can’t use, but if I keep it boring and just stick with potatoes, what makes them fancy?

Well these latkes definitely meet the challenge… they can be a bit tricky to get to hold together, but IYH the end result will be worth it!

First of all, I used my favorite immersion blender to make these guys, if you are in the market for one, I highly recommend this one because it has 3 attachments, an egg beater, a food processor, AND and immersion blender! For more info visit here

So these latkes have potatoes,  Jerusalem Artichokes (tis’ the season?), and kale. The Kale doesn’t add much flavor but it makes me feel a little healthier!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Potato- Red Russet are my favorite especially since you can leave the skin on!
  • 1 medium Jerusalem Artichoke
  • 1/2 of a small onion
  • 1-2 kale leaves
  • 1 Egg
  • Pinch of salt & Pepper
  • Olive oil to fry

Directions:

  1. Using the food processor, process the potatoes, Jerusalem Artichoke, onion & Kale. (You may need to do this in batches)
  2. Squeeze out the excess liquid from the mixture and put in a bowl
  3. Add an egg, a pinch of salt and some pepper and mix well
  4. In a preferably non-stick fry pan, cover the bottom completely with olive oil and heat it over medium. The oil is hot enough when you can *CAREFULLY* splash a *SMALL* drop of water in the pan and the oil sizzles.
  5. Carefully with a spoon add the latke mixture to the hot oil. Once you’ve filled your pan with as many latkes as the pan can take, gently move the pan back and forth to make sure the latkes are not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  6. When the latke edges start to turn brown they are ready to flip- DON’T try to flip them too early, or you’ll just end up with lots of super fried latke bits all over your pan… although some people think thats the best part anyway…
  7. When both sides have browned, place the latkes on a plate lined with paper towel

 

Trouble Shooting:

  • If the latkes are not sticking together, try adding some potato starch or flour.
  • If they are burning & also not cooking well enough in the middle, consider making them smaller.
  • If they are sticking to the pan, use your clean spatula ( make sure to wipe off any latke bits that are already stuck to it), to get under each latke to help them float- also consider adding more oil to your pan.
  • If the oil is starting to bubble up – try adding more oil, but also know that you may need to change the oil out all together shortly.

Other Latke Varieties to Try…

  • Zucchini Latkes- squeeze out the extra water and use flour & egg to hold these guys together- be sure that the oil is hot enough when you start frying!
  • Apple Latkes- grate the apples and squeeze out the juice & use egg & flour to hold together. After frying, dip in cinnamon & sugar or mix some in to the batter!
  • Sweet Potato Latkes

Not Weird Butternut Squash Soup

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So I was just visiting my dear friend Chai and her family. Since I’m back on the whole 30 bit she was a little nervous about what in the world I would eat while there so she just bought out all the veggies at the store and we had a bit of fun in the kitchen 🙂

For dinner she thought we could make a butternut squash soup so I said, what if we add ground beef to it. She in no uncertain terms told me I was crazy, but it didn’t matter to me… I was sure this was going to be good… and so it was. So here you go… Enjoy this super delicious, super filling NOT WEIRD Butternut Squash Soup with Ground beef and Jerusalem Artichokes… come on, basic was definitely not going to cut it if I wanted to impress my friend… but fancy doesn’t have to mean complicated either 🙂 and this soup is really easy to make!

Ingredients :

  • Olive Oil
  • 1 onion- diced
  • Butternut Squash
  • Soup stock
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Optional: Maple Syrup to add sweetness

“Optional” Garnish that makes this soup awesome…

Directions:

  1. Lightly caramelize the diced onion with a bit of salt in olive oil in a deep pan or soup pot.
  2. Prepare the butternut squash… Now there are 2 ways to do this…
    1. You can either cut the squash in half, take out the seeds brush with a little oil and bake it face down on a lined pan at 350F until its soft – approximately 45min-1hour. This could also be done in a double wrapped pan if your oven is not kosher.
    2. You can *peel and cut your squash* and add it to the sauteed onions and let it cook in the broth.
  3. Add the squash to the onions along with enough soup stock to cover the squash. Bring to a simmer and let cook until the butternut squash is thoroughly cooked through or for 30 minutes if you pre-cooked the squash in the oven.
  4. With an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth and give it a taste. Add any cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper etc needed to bring out the flavor. **Just remember it is supposed to be a sweeter soup** – you can even add a dash of maple syrup!
  5. If you like your soup thicker you can cook it down a bit longer, if you like it thinner you can add a bit of water. This is a VERY flexible soup!

    Optional, but not really optional:

  6. Just before you are ready to serve, take the Jerusalem artichokes and process them in a food processor until it is in very small pieces. Put a little olive oil in the pan and add the processed Jerusalem Artichokes. Cook over a medium flame and when you start to see the oil sizzle a bit put the ground beef on top.
  7. Brown the meat with the artichokes and use to garnish the soup.

If you’ve got picky eaters, start with the meat on the side, but if your friends or kids are anything like mine, they’ll end up adding the meat to the soup and won’t look back! The mix of sweet and savory is just too good!

*Peeling and cutting squash is NOT my favorite thing to do, if you are going to do it, I’d suggest wearing gloves as the squash can often dry out the skin on your hands… Alternatively, you can see if one of your local stores caries a peeled and cut squash with a good hechsher, if you have a Harris Teeter nearby you may be in luck 🙂

Peaches & Cream

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Peaches are the major highlight of my summer. But travel is also a big component of my summer so when ingredients are fresh, but I’m leaving town, I’ve got to figure out what can be eaten, what can travel, and what can freeze… and how to do all that in a way that leaves me with good food …

So here’s what I’ve learned about cream. Have you ever frozen cream? Freezing milk works for the most part, but cream… not so much. When you freeze cream, you might find it looks clumpy when you de-frost it. After extensive google research, I’ve read that it’s still edible, but you will notice a difference in texture, and that difference kind of takes the fun out of cream…after all, who wants clumps in their cream?

However, if you make something with your cream, you can freeze the product and and it works perfectly. This is obvious when it comes to making ice-cream, but you might be surprised to hear that making a basic whipped cream will work too!

Basic Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

  • Heavy Cream
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla

Tools Needed:

  • Electric mixer or you can try an immersion blender as long as you are careful not to over whip and turn your cream in to butter… although butter will keep well too 🙂

Directions:

In a large bowl, begin whipping the cream and sugar. I generally will add about 1/4 cup sugar for 2 cups of cream, but if you like it sweeter you can add more. Be careful when whipping the cream. You want peaks to form (meaning when you lift the mixer the cream will hold it’s shape a bit) but if you over whip, it will become butter.  Toward the end add a tsp of vanilla.

This cream will taste wonderful fresh, but if you are in a hurry to leave town, or don’t want to end up eating two cups worth of fresh whipped cream all on your own, then you can keep your whipped cream in the freezer. When you want to eat it, scoop it on to you favorite fruits, cakes, pies etc. and let it sit out for a few minutes to defrost. You should find that your whipped cream will quickly return to it’s light and fluffy texture in no time. Enjoy!

Easy & Healthy Black Bean Soup

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With a stovetop and an immersion blender this soup comes together in less than 10 minutes… well maybe 15 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 Onion- diced
  • Oil to sauté the onion
  • 1 Can of black beans
  • Water
  • Salt & pepper to taste (or curry powder if you are really adventurous!)
  • Cheese to garnish (optional)

Directions:

Dice and sauté the onion in a small stock pot. When the onions are translucent and starting to caramelize add the can of black beans- liquid included! Fill the can with water and add to the pot. Use your immersion blender to blend the beans and onions together. Bring the soup to a simmer then serve! Garnish with some shredded cheese!

*Cheese Tip… Since cheese is a kosher sensitive ingredient, I keep a bag or two of shredded cheese in the freezer at home. That way whenever I come by, I don’t have to worry about whether or not I have some. Just because you are going home, doesn’t mean you have to have boring food!