Saturday, November 17, 2012

Big Breakfast Latkes

Big Breakfast Latkes, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
Within two hours of my finally getting my mitts on the smitten kitchen cookbook, exactly one week ago, I had bookmarked well over half of if its recipes. We've been attached at the hip since. Literally. It's always in my bag. I show it off to my co-workers. I read it on the bus. It sits atop my table at my local cafe provoking comments from hovering patrons whilst standing in line. I take it to bed with a cup of tea, flipping it open to a random page to read or re-read the recipe introductions, re-arranging the color coded neon post-its in an attempt to figure out what to make next. 
I can't believe it's taken me a week to make something from it, but I've finally gotten around to picking number one. This jumped the line-up for several reasons:
~I love potatoes!
~All of the ingredients were on hand.
~I'm always on the lookout for time efficient meal ideas (I can get my butt out of bed a lot quicker for this than for toast-'cuz, you know, I love potatoes) 
~The do ahead note promises the cooked latkes keep well in the fridge and freezer, so the other night I made a double batch 'cuz I knew they'd be gobbled up just as easily for breakfast and dinner.
~I had made my first  Rosti (from Jamie Oliver) a few weeks ago, so Smitten pushed my OCD button and got me thinking about all of the differences and possibilities amongst rosti's, latke's, potato cakes and hash browns.
I've christened my new gem with it's first stain...bacon fat!
Hmnnn...can this still be called a latke if I cooked it in bacon fat? Have I just created a culinary faux-pas?

Big Breakfast Latkes
from the smitten kitchen cookbook

1 large baking potato (1 pound or 455 grams) peeled
1 small onion (1/4 pound or 115 grams) peeled
1/4 cup (30 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Vegetable or olive oil, for frying (I used bacon fat-Is that bad?)
fried or poached eggs, to serve (optional)

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, and keep it in the oven until needed.
In a food processor or on a large box grater, coarsely grate the potato and onion. Line a colander with a lint free towel, dump the shredded mixture into the towel-lined colander, gather the ends and wring out as much water as possible. Let it stand for 2 minutes, then squeeze it out again.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt, pepper, and egg together. Stir in the potato-onion mixture until all the pieces are evenly coated.
In a small, heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmery or melt some bacon grease.  Divide the mixture into 4 portions and spoon the first one into the skillet and flatten with a spatula into a 5-inch round. Cook the latke over moderate heat until the edges are golden, about 4 to 5 minutes; flip, and cook until golden on the bottom, about 3 to 4 minutes more.
Transfer the latke either to a warmed baking sheet in the oven, or onto a sheet to cool if your planning to keep them around. Repeat process with remaining latke batter in three batches, creating a total of four large latkes
You can either serve the latke whole with a fried egg on top or cut it into 4 wedges, stacked  with a poached egg on top, taking a moment to delight in the yolk running down the slices.

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