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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Potato-Parsnip Latkes with Horseradish and Dill

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
I love this twist on a classic potato pancake. These are great as both a side dish and a base for an hors d'oeuvre.

Ingredients for latkes
1/2 pound (about 1 large) Russet potato
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 pound parsnips (about 2 large or 4 medium)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Canola oil for frying

Ingredients for sauce
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon freshly grated or prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon chopped dill

Procedure
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line one large or two smaller baking sheets with foil and leave them in the oven until needed.

Peel parsnips and potato and grate them. If using the food processor, lay the vegetables sideways in the chute, in an attempt to get the longest strands of vegetables. Transfer shredded vegetables to a lint-free dishtowel or square of cheesecloth, and wring out as much liquid as possible. Let stand for two minutes, then wring again. Wetness is the enemy of crisp, light latkes, so we want to get rid of as much as possible. Transfer wrung-out vegetables to a large bowl. Add lemon juice.

In a tiny dish, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and any herbs or additional seasonings and toss with vegetables, evenly coating the strands. In the same tiny dish, whisk your egg(s) and then stir this into the vegetable-flour mixture, evenly coating the strands. Heat a large, heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons oil and make sure its good and hot.

Using a fork or your fingertips (letting the eggy batter drain off a little is good), gather spoonful-sized mounds of battered vegetables and drop them onto the heated skillet. When golden underneath, 3 to 4 minutes later, flip pancakes. Cook on the other side until nicely bronzed underneath, another 2 to 3 minutes, and transfer to paper towels briefly to drain pancakes, before transferring them again to tray(s) in warm oven. If latkes cook too quickly or slowly on the stove, adjust the heat accordingly. Add more oil if needed (you want to keep the pan at that 3 tablespoon level), being sure it is heated before adding more pancakes to the skillet. Repeat with remaining batter.

I like to keep the latkes in the oven for at least 10 minutes to ensure they’ve cooked through before serving them. This gives you time to make sauce. Mix sauce ingredients in a small dish. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve warm with a dollop of the sauce. With this same recipe you can use, sweet potato, zucchini, butternut squash, carrots, or any mix there of. This makes about 18 2 1/2 to 3-inch latkes.