Recipe of the Week: Cardamom-Carrot Latkes

These elegant, tasty and light fritters make the best Christmas morning breakfast treat
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  • These elegant, tasty and light fritters make the best Christmas morning breakfast treat

Recipe of the Week is contributed by Seattle-based award-winning cookbook author, urban farmer and Seattle magazine contributor Amy Pennington.

These are my all-time favorite Christmas Morning breakfast treats. They are elegant, tasty and light enough to not spoil appetites, particularly on a day we tend to indulge.

Pulling from traditional Jewish latkes, these savory pancakes are a cross between a latke and a fritter. Equal parts potato and carrot are mixed with an abundant dose of onion, then scented substantially with freshly ground cardamom. Of course, you can serve them with the traditional accompaniments of sour cream and applesauce. If I’m feeling splurge-y I’ll also top with a dollop of crème fraiche and a piece of smoked salmon and pair it with a glass of champagne.

Prepare these for a festive weekend breakfast this holiday break, when you have a little more time in the kitchen. Consider doubling the batch—I’d be lying if I didn’t confess to eating them as a midnight snack, barefoot in the kitchen!

Cardamom–Carrot Latkes
MAKES 12 TO 16 LATKES

1 large russet potato
about 1 pound 3 green onions
1 large carrot
peeled ½ medium red onion
2 eggs
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup stout beer
1 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 to 2 cups vegetable oil

Using the largest setting of a box grater, grate the russet potatoes and immediately cover them completely with water, allowing them to soak for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, trim off the top 3 inches of the green onions and finely chop. Put them in a large bowl. Using the largest setting of a box grater, grate the carrot and the red onion. Add both to the green onions.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, flour, stout beer, cardamom, salt, and pepper until smooth. Add to the carrot–onion mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to combine.

To strain the grated potatoes, set a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and line with cheesecloth or a thin linen towel. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes from the water to the strainer, reserving the water. Let the water sit, about 10 minutes, so the starch collects in the bottom of the bowl. When all the potatoes are transferred, pick up the linen and squeeze well to remove the excess water. Really clamp down on the potatoes—you want them as dry as possible. Add 1 cup of the potatoes to carrot–onion–egg–stout mixture and stir to combine.

Slowly, pour the water into the sink, being careful to leave behind the potato starch (this is the white paste that has collected in the bowl). Add the residual potato starch to the batter and stir to combine well.

Set the vegetable oil, about half-inch deep, over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Using a large spoon, drop in 3-inch-wide rounds of batter, being sure not to overcrowd the pan. Stir the batter before shaping and frying each batch, as the liquid tends to pool at the bottom of the bowl. Cook the latkes until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Turn them over and cook the other side until golden brown, another 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove the latkes from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a layer of paper towels or a paper bag to drain. Once drained, arrange them on a platter and hold in a warmed oven. Continue cooking in this fashion until all the latkes are done. Serve immediately.

PANTRY NOTE: Any leftover batter will discolor and separate, so it’s best to cook all of the latkes in one go. Leftover latkes can be held in the fridge for a few days, wrapped in parchment, or frozen and heated up in the oven when desired.

Excerpted from Fresh Pantry & Carrots--Cook Seasonally, Eat Smart & Learn to Love Your Carrots, Skipstone Books 2013

For more recipe ideas and inspiration as well and gardening tips and tricks, visit Amy’s website at www.amy-pennington.com

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