Monday, 2 December 2013

Zucchini latkes

Hanukkah, which the world is in the middle of celebrating right now, is time for fried foods as this commemorates the Hanukkah miracle during the Second Temple period. And I couldn't be more fine with that! One of the dishes just about everyone is familiar with is latkes, crisp potato cakes made of grated potatos. Some like them thicker and chewier, some thinner and crunchier. 

Latkes can (and often are, at my table anyway) be served as starters or cocktail treats, for instance topped with créme fraîche and cold smoked salmon. Another (though not very kosher) way is to top them with grilled scallops and minty pea pure.

Another traditional way is the one favoured my friend, Jiddishe Mama: serving them with sweeter accompaniments such as her wonderful apple sauce. This too, coming to the blog!

Latkes can be made of other veggies too. I've been known to make them both out of sweet potato (wonderful with créme fraîche dip spiked with some sweet chilli sauce and lime juice andtopped with  grilled prawns!) and zucchini. This time instead of all purpose flour I used chickpea flour (which was also used for tortillitas de camarones and veggie samosas) so this time they were also gluten-free. A word of warning though - zucchini latkes will never be as crispy as the potato kind.

Serve with créme fraîche and cold smoked salmon. Or tzatziki. These also make great side dishes, especially for fish - try with fish with grape sauce!

Frying latkes is much like making pancakes - the first one will always be ruined. Its purpose it's just to test the temperature of the oil and the seasoning of the latke mixture.

This portion makes about 14 latkes

1 large zucchini (about 500 g)
4 spring onion stalks (the green bits) or chives
3 tbsp (chickpea) flour
1 egg
the zest of 1 lemon
salt, pepper

Grate the zucchini on top of a kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess liquid. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. Heat the pan. add oil, drop in the mixture (about 1 tbsp/ latke), flatten it with the back of the spoon and fry on both sides.

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