How are all of you today? Nursing hangovers? If so, you might want to skip this post, since it’s going to be, in large part, about food.
Sean has gone off to visit some friends, and won’t be back until tomorrow, so I’m doing my own mini entertaining, and making my favorite dish — Potato Latkes with smoked salmon and capers.
A latke, for those who are not familiar with so very tasty dish, is not a potato pancake. A potato pancake is, at least in my experience, simply a pancake made with potato flour. A latke has much more in common with a hash brown patty, and is made from grated potatoes. Done right, they should be light, crisp, and not very oily. They’re traditionally served with apple sauce and sour cream. As I mentioned, I like mine with smoked salmon, and I like smoked salmon with capers, so that’s how we’ll be having them.
In the afternoon, I’ll be starting a big pot of old skool chili – a New Year’s day tradition for me going back to my time in University, when I’d generally spend the day with a rotating cast of deeply hung over friends dropping into my apartment for sustenance. I make mine with ground beef, onions, adobo peppers, beans, tomatos and a lot of spice. I’ll serve it up with a pan of green onion and cheddar cheese cornbread, and we’ll finish off some more of the Christmas cookies and squares for dessert.
Since Sean is away, the dogs will get some extra privileges. Delilah will, no doubt, spend the afternoon upstairs ‘helping’ me to cook, with the puppy trailing behind her, learning the fine art of being a spoiled rotten brat. Sailor will get to sleep on Sean’s side of the bed, and will eventually end up beside me on the pillow, snoring into my ear. Elliott and Bunny and everyone else will get at least a half latke of their very own – but I do not share my smoked salmon (well, maybe a tiny morsel with the cat).
I hope all of you are spending this first day of the New Year in as enjoyable a manner as we are!
Here’s my personal favorite Latke recipe:
LIGHT AND CRISPY POTATO LATKES
3 large, starchy potatoes
3 tbsps. milk
1/2 tsp. baking powder
salt and pepper to taste
If the skins of the potatoes are thin and unblemished, do not peel the potatoes but scrub them well. Otherwise, peel them; then grate 1 potato on the large holes of a grater and the other two on the medium holes. Beat in the milk, egg and baking powder. Season with salt and pepper; blend well, If there is a large amount of liquid in the mixture, drain off some of it. Heat a scant ½ inch of oil in a large skillet until it is very hot but not smoking. Drop the batter by large spoonfuls, flatten then slightly. Turn them once. When they are golden brown on the bottom side, cook them several minutes longer and drain them on paper towels. (The latkes will have crisp edges.)
Serve hot with sour cream or applesauce.
Makes 3-4 servings.