Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Parmesan Latke

My mother is Jewish and my father is (raised) Christian. Though neither of them are practicing, they did want to impart some of their heritage and tradition and what not into us. We celebrated a few Christian Holidays (Easter, Christmas) and a few Jewish ones (Purim, Channukah, very rarely Rosh Hoshanah-- meaning like, once). But we did always serve up latkes and play with the dradle and have chocolate money coins and light candles. We haven't celebrated this year, my menorah is in LA, my parents moved two weeks ago-- there's a lot of reasons... but this Christmas Eve I decided to make A Latke. Just one. One very large one.

On Christmas Eve we used to eat appetizers (vegetables, mostly) and sit around and open one present and sometimes watch a movie. I remember cracking nuts, when I was a kid, around a little table in one of the side rooms (maybe it was a family room? Or some kind of entertaining room? I'm not sure) and singing Silent Night off key for my Father. This Christmas Eve, we feasted on veggies and this latke as well as some delicious chicken polenta tartlets. Those will come tomorrow, I'm sure, because it's too late for two posts tonight. After all, Santa won't come if I don't go to sleep.

That said, please enjoy this Happy Holiday Recipe from Foodival. :) Happy Holidays!!

Parmesan Latke (Potato Pancake)
Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons (divided) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound potatoes (I used 2 red, 2 yukon gold), peeled
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
half a long stem fresh rosemary, pulled from the stem.

Grate the potatoes and using a kitchen towel, squeeze out the water completely-- this may take two or three go backs. Set aside, and allow to continue to drain. Reserve the pan.
Warm the tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, then add the garlic and cooking until tender and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Season the onion mixture with salt and pepper and transfer to the bowl with the grated potatoes. Add the cheese and rosemary and fold together.
Warm a teaspoon of oil over high heat in the same pan the onions were cooked in. When hot, but not smoking, add the potato mixture. Use a spatula to press the mixture firmly into the pan and evenly, then turn the heat down to medium and cook the potato mixture until the bottom is golden brown and the pancake can move in the pan, about 8-12 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low if the latke is browning too fast. Place a large plate on top of the latke and flip it out of the pan.
Turn the heat on the pan back up to high and add the other 1 teaspoon of oil. Once hot, slide the latke back into the pan and lower the heat to medium again, cook the latke until the other side is golden and cooked through, about another 8-12 minutes. Slide the latke onto a serving platter, slice, and serve.

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