Tag: latke

My Grandmother’s Kartoffelpuffer

Kartoffelpuffer

My grandmother’s kitchen had a wooden bench on one side, with a table and three chairs in front of a window from which I could see her peaceful garden. I used to sit there while she cooked for me, busy with her pots and pans preparing my favourite dishes. She grew beautiful roses next to a meadow which was covered in daisies blooming under the branches of her big cherry tree. It was the most perfect cherry tree, with a swing that made me feel like I could touch the sky! I could sit and swing for hours, daydreaming or waiting for my granny’s lunch. Whenever I visited her for a couple days she asked me for a list of things I would like to eat. I used to give her a long list, always too long to be able to eat all of my favourites but I loved this ritual!

One of these lunches, my personal highlight that I always had to have at least once, was a fried cake made of grated potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, flour and eggs. It was crisp on the outside and juicy inside, similar to latke. Where I come from they are called Reibekuchen or Kartoffelpuffer meaning grated cake or potato cushions. We eat them with apple compote, sugar beet syrup or sugar which was my childhood favourite!

Kartoffelpuffer

Kartoffelpuffer

For 3-4 people you need

potatoes, peeled and grated, 700g / 25 ounces
celery, peeled and grated, 150g / 5.5 ounces
carrots, peeled or cleaned and grated, 200g / 7 ounces
large onions, peeled and grated, 2
plain flour 130g / 4.5 ounces
salt 2 heaped teaspoons
ground black pepper
vegetable oil for frying

sugar for sprinkling
apple compote to serve
sugar beet syrup to serve

Squeeze the liquid out of the grated vegetables, dry them between kitchen role and mix with the other ingredients to a dough.

In a large heavy pan heat up the oil on highest temperature, the oil should cover the bottom about 1/2 cm / 1/4″. When it’s hot scoop about 3 tablespoons of the dough into the pan for each cake and even it out. I fry 3 cakes at a time. When they are golden brown, turn them around. They need around 2-3 minutes on each side, you might have to turn the temperature down a little. Take them out of the pan and put between kitchen role to soak the oil. Serve with sugar, apple compote or sugar beet syrup. If you prefer a savory version you can serve them with smoked salmon or my gravad lax.

Kartoffelpuffer

 

Kartoffelpuffer

 

Kartoffelpuffer

Crispy Latke with Curry and Orange Cream

Pumpkin Hash Brown

It’s been a beautiful January morning. Blue sky, the air is crisp and clean and much to my surprise glowing with sunshine! I went to the park to enjoy the first sunny morning in 2014 and it felt like spring. This calls for a celebration, something equally warming and shiny on my plate: fried golden latke. I make mine with Hokkaido pumpkin and potatoes, a home made curry mixture and an orange, cinnamon flavoured cream.

At this time of the year, I often cook with my own curry mixtures. I guess it’s the cold, my body appreciates warming spices like cayenne and turmeric. For my pumpkin – potato mixture, I prepare a curry mixture that is not too hot, despite the inclusion of cayenne. I want strong flavours, but more on the sweet side, like cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. The cream gives a lighter feel to this meal, its milky sourness is a refreshing counterpoint to the fried latkes, the orange zest and spices reinforce it.

Pumpkin Hash Brown

Spicy Pumpkin and Potato Latke with an Orange Cream

I use around 600g / 21 ounces peeled potatoes and 400g / 14 ounces pumpkin for my latke mixture which is enough for 3 – 4 people:

For the latke

Hokkaido pumpkin (or any other pumpkin), grated, 400g / 14 ounces
(with peel, just scoop out the seeds and fibre)
potatoes, peeled, grated, 600g / 21 ounces
onion, peeled, grated, 2
plain flour 12 tablespoons plus more for mixing
organic eggs 3
salt 3 teaspoons
vegetable oil for frying

for the curry mixture (for the latke)
cayenne pepper, ground, 1/4 teaspoon
coriander seeds, ground, 1/2 teaspoon
black pepper, ground, 1/2 teaspoon
turmeric, ground, 1/2 teaspoon
cumin, ground, 1/4 teaspoon
cardamom, ground, 1/4 teaspoon
cinnamon, ground, 1/4 teaspoon
3 cloves, ground in a mortar

 For the cream

cream cheese 150g / 5 ounces
heavy cream 4 tablespoons
plain yoghurt 4 tablespoons
orange zest 3 teaspoons
a pinch of salt
a pinch of cayenne pepper (ground)
a pinch of cinnamon (ground)
a pinch of cardamom (ground)

Mix all the ingredients for the cream and season to taste.

Squeeze out the grated potatoes, pumpkin and onions and dry between kitchen paper (in batches) until you get most of the liquid out. Mix all the ingredients for the latke, add more flour if the mixture is too moist.

Heat a good amount of oil in a large cast iron pan. Form pancake shaped latkes and fry them in the hot oil, 1-1 1/2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Take down the heat if they get too dark. When the latke is done, remove excess oil with kitchen paper and keep in a warm oven until you finish your last batch. Serve together with the cream.