Ham Latkes

Since the Hanukah Ham was such a success, I decided to branch out (like a Menorah) tonight, and make some Ham Latkes (aka Ham Croquettes for the Goyim reading this).

No real recipe, and I didn’t measure anything, but the following description should be sufficient to get you going.

Pull off a bunch of ham, about as much as you would serve two people as a main course. Its ok to use the ugly bits, because it’s getting all munched up in the food processor.

Added a chunk of Italian Gorgonzola Dulce (“sweet” blue cheese), but any sharp cheese will do.

A large dollop of sour cream (or gvina levanah or labaneh or “Greek” yogurt, whatever you have).

Season with British dry mustard (i.e. Coleman’s) and black pepper. Some chopped fresh herbs would be good too, but I was too lazy. Add an egg (I use the egg white in the container) to hold together, and a bit of Matzah Meal (or bread crumbs or flour) as a binding agent.

The “secret ingredient” is a small Israeli pickle, which adds texture and a great flavor to the mix.

Pulse in food processor just until everything is chopped up and sticks together, but not too much or it will turn into a gummy mess.

Form into patties, and dredge in seasoned flour. Then dip into beaten egg (again I used the egg white from the container) with some hot sauce mixed in. Then dip in panko and/or seasoned breadcrumbs. For a crispier coating, do a second dip in the egg and breadcrumbs. Then fry in small batches canola oil until golden brown on both sides.

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Hangover Brunch

After the epic meal at Gilt last night, needed something simple and nourishing this afternoon. I made a plantain with black beans and a sunny side egg.

I usually slice and fry plantains, but this time I boiled it. It was very easy, no worry about burning it, and came out delicious. Just peeled it and plopped it in to a pot of salted water. Boiled for a about 10 minutes until the point of a knife made it the center with little resistance. Just like boiling a potato.

The beans came from a can. dumped undrained into a frying pan lubricated with a thin coating of olive oil ()about 1 tsp. Add to that a healthy dollop of Goya Recaito from the jar (about 2 TB) and mix well. Mash with the back of a spoon and cook until hot and bubbly, stirring occasionally.

The egg was “poach-fried” in a small pan in about 1 TB of olive oil. Like a regular fried egg, but lower heat so it doesn’t brown, and gets the flavor of the oil. Spoon the oil over the yolk as it cooks so its not raw when the white is ready.

Serve with a wedge of lime and hot sauce of choice. And a couple of strips of bacon. And a bloody mary.

Rosti

For brunch today I made Swiss-style rosti with bacon, mushrooms, onions, and Gruyere. I used this video http://www.foodnetwork.com/videos/swiss-rosti/245.html and the associated recipe http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tylers-ultimate/rosti-with-bacon-mushrooms-and-onions-recipe/index.html as the base, but took a few shortcuts.I didn’t peel the potatoes or parboil them, and ran everything through the small grater disc on the food processor.

Ingredients

  • 2 large yukon gold potatoes, washed
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stem
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • sea salt
  • 1 TB canola oil
  • 1 TB butter
  • Swiss Gruyer, grated
  • 8 oz package baby bella mushrooms, or other mushrooms
  • 3-4 slices smoked bacon, chopped

Directions

  1. Clean the potatoes, peel the onion, wash the mushrooms. Run them all through the food processor using the small grating disc (e.g. 4mm)
  2. Dump into a large bowl, add salt and pepper and thyme and chopped bacon, mix well.
  3. In a large cast iron frying pan, heat half the oil  over medium heat.
  4. Add half of the mixture to the pan, pressing down to form an even layer across the bottom and smoothing out so it sticks together. Pull back a bit from the edges.
  5. When edges start to brown, loosen from bottom and flip carefully onto a plate, then add half the butter to the pan and slide the rosti into the pan to cook the other side.
  6. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese over the top to melt while the second side is cooking.
  7. Remove from pan when bottom is lightly browned, cut into pieces and serve with white wine.

Notes

  • can also be made in smaller pans for individual portions as a side dish. But with a vegetable side dish, it makes a great main course.
  • pre-cooking the onions and mushrooms with the bacon to get some of the extra liquid out would probably help it brown and not steam.
  • Squeezing the extra liquid out of the potatoes would also be a good idea instead of dumping the whole wet mess straight into the pan.
  • If I had a leek, I would use that instead of the onion.
  • This would be better with some fancier wild mushrooms.