Saturday, June 02, 2012

Celery Root Latkes with Pastrami

Nice New Nibbles
I love celery root, but I basically have a limited list of things I do with it: celery root remoulade; whipped potato and celery root puree; cream of celery root soup. So you can imagine my delight when I came across this recipe at Food52. I love latkes, I love pastrami (though I never eat it), and I love pickles — put them all together and you have a great treat! I used turkey pastrami which has way less fat and is really quite tasty. So here is the recipe:

Ingredients for latkes
2 1/2 pounds celery root, trimmed and peeled (about 4 medium celery roots)
1 medium yellow onion, peeled
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup matzo meal
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups vegetable oil, for frying

Ingredients for topping
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces thinly sliced pastrami, at room temperature or warmed
3 kosher dill pickles, thinly sliced on the bias

Heat the oven to 250°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet and set aside.

Using the medium-coarse shredding disk of a food processor, shred the celery root and onion and place in a large bowl. Add the eggs, matzo meal, and measured salt and pepper and stir to combine; set aside.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until a piece of celery root instantly sizzles when dropped in, about 4 to 5 minutes. Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, scoop up the celery root mixture, tightly pack it, and carefully drop it into the pan. Repeat until you have 4 mounds. Using a spatula, gently press each mound into a flat disk about 1/2 inch thick. Fry undisturbed until the bottoms of the latkes are golden brown, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Flip and fry until the latkes are golden brown on the other side, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes more. Transfer the latkes to the rack on the prepared baking sheet, season with salt, and place in the oven to keep warm. Using a slotted spoon, skim and discard any bits of latke remaining in the pan. Repeat frying the remaining celery root mixture 4 latkes at a time until all of the mixture has been used. (Make sure to skim the remaining bits of latke between each batch.)

To assemble, spread about 1 teaspoon of the mustard mixture on each latke. Divide the pastrami among the latkes. Top with the pickle slices and serve immediately.