Sunday, December 2, 2012

Latkes with Clarified Butter, Cotija Cheese and Truffled Ketchup


We have almost reached that time of year.  The one where I put notations on the calendar to highlight the days of Hanukkah, and put a star on the day or days on which we intend to make latkes.  Then, all too often, end up hurtling though the entire holiday, forgetting to look at the calendar, and failing to celebrate even just one of the nights. Possibly that time of the year we end up ordering pizza on the night we were supposed to do the latkes.  Not this year.  We like the idea of celebrating Hanukkah, even if we completely fail at celebrating any of the other Jewish holidays.  I think doing one holiday makes us feel like we are keeping up tradition just a teeny tiny bit, even if it's not technically a major holiday.  However, we're not exactly traditionalists, so we find latkes a fun opportunity to try new flavor combinations we may never have thought of.  Seth got the idea for these after eating french fries with cotija cheese and clarified butter from a gourmet food truck.  They were so amazing, he thought we should put those flavors into latkes and serve them with truffled ketchup.  I'm pretty sure no phone calls will be made to a local pizza place this Hanukkah.  

Ingredients
1 pound unsalted butter
2 pounds russet potatoes
1 medium onion
1 small bunch scallions, chopped
1 egg, beaten
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
cotija cheese, crumbled
scallions, chopped
fleur de sel
ketchup (preferably Heinz), for serving
white truffle oil, for serving

Instructions
To clarify the butter, chop the sticks up and place in a medium pot over low heat.  Melt the butter.  After a few minutes, you will start to see foam covering the top.  Once that stops bubbling up, take off heat and use a spoon to skim off the top layer of foam.  Set a piece of cheesecloth over a mesh strainer and place over a heat-proof container.  Pour the butter through the cheesecloth and strainer into the container.  

Peel the potatoes, keeping the peeled potatoes in cold water.  Once they're all done, grate the potatoes and the onion into a medium bowl.  Once all grated, begin squeezing the water out of the shredded potatoes and onion and transferring them to a new bowl.  Left behind should be some water and, underneath, some separated potato starch.  Take out the starch and mix it back in with the grated potatoes and onion.  Add in the chopped scallions, beaten egg, and generous pinches of salt and pepper.  Mix everything together.  Form thin patties with the mixture (the thinner, the crispier), and cook in a skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat in the clarified butter. Once one side has browned (about 3 minutes) flip and cook the other side.  As they finish, remove and place on paper towel.  Just before serving, sprinkle each latke with a liberal amount of cotija cheese and scallions.  Finish with a pinch of fleur de sel.  In a small bowl, mix just a bit of white truffle oil with the ketchup (about a 1/4 teaspoon oil per 2-3 tablespoons of ketchup).  Serve the truffled ketchup with the latkes.



29 comments:

  1. Oh, those gourmet food trucks with their deliciousness and inspirations...

    Hanukkah must be the tastiest of all the holidays! (That would be my choice too!):D These latkes look scrumptious! Hello, truffle oil!!

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  2. Sooo I've always been totally on board with the idea of latkes. These look SOOOO YUMMMMMMYYYY!

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  3. Truffled ketchup?! Say no more -- I'm sold! :-)

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  4. I have never had latkes, but now I am tempted. I am no traditionalist either, but I like cooking traditional food or a twist of it for festivals...otherwise the festivals pass in a blur of daily life which I find rather depressing! Love the idea of truffled ketchup....suddenly plain old ketchup sounds oh-so-gourmet :-) Cheers, Suchi

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  5. Wow! Amazing! I adore latkes. I never thought to add such unique ingredients as topping. Love the idea of truffle ketchup!

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  6. YUM! and love how crispy you got your cakes and truffled anything is fine by me!

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  7. This is so interesting, I've never seen anything like these before! They sound great and as for truffled ketchup...amazing!

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  8. Perfectly crisp and delicious, I love the flavors in these latkes!

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  9. God, these sound so decadently awesome. I feel fancy just reading the recipe

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  10. OMG I love latkes! So much. Whole Foods makes premade ones and I buy them even though they pale in comparison to the real thing. I love the addition of cotija.

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  11. Latkes are the best- and now I can't believe I haven't made them in forever! Definitely trying this- the truffled ketchup sounds awesome crazy good.

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  12. I've never had latkes...but they do look awesome! I have some Jewish family so I have heard of them, though. Love the truffled ketchup!

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  13. This is a perfect way to celebrate and keep up with tradition! Latkes are gorgeous!

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  14. OMG. He mexican'd out Hanukkah. YUMMMMMM.

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  15. Okay, these look worth the effort ;) I do need to learn more about truffle oil though. Is it really worth the expense? I was reading about making your own truffle oil at home after I saw this recipe of yours last night. Hmmmm. Do you use it for a lot of things? I'm intrigued.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. The Latkes sound delicious!

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    1. I think the truffle oil is actually worth it - a little goes a long way, and you end up thinking of new things to add it to all the time

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  16. I didn't realize you were also Jewish. :) So, I'm not sure my latke-purist mother would approve but I'm totally on board with this. Especially the cotija cheese part!

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  17. Ah, you had me at cotija! COTIJA! NOM! :D

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  18. These look so crispy and delicious!

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  19. Never had latkes before,but they look similar to the Rosti in the UK!Love the truffled ketchup too :)

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  20. My husband was just talking about how much he'd love to make latkes. What a great recipe to try! It is so good to visit your blog again. I've been quite sick the past month...and with moving on the near horizon, my blog-reading has gone to the wayside. But I am very glad to be back! I hope you have a beautiful week!

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  21. I feel the same way about Christmas. I dont' care very much about the religion behind it but I love the tradition and how it seems to bring family together. These latkes sound awesome. The cotija is a great flavor twist!

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  22. Wow these look stunning. I love anything with potatoes,...am bookmarking this one. great recipe:)

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  23. Those latkes sound amazing....I love cotija cheese.great addition.

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  24. these look amazing love your blog and creativity

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  25. Great recipe! I will have to try these

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  26. Oh these look awesome. I almost thought they were pakoras at first but it's even better that they're latkes. Great twist with the clarified butter/cotija mix and an even better accent with truffled ketchup!

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