On New Year’s Eve this (past?) year we took it easy. Our friend L. came over, and we had a little festival of frying.
First, though, a toast, the first of several, to the new year, with some “Il” Prosecco and raspberries. Fancied up cheap champagne? That’s how we roll.
In the background on the right, you may observe some Homemade Applesauce. Damn. I should make it all the time. Not only did I use up all my Boston Organics apples, but it was so tasty and so much better (and less sugary) than the supermarket thing.
Next was something I didn’t get a picture of, because we ate them so fast. Riffing on a fresh tuna patty recipe in Jamie Oliver’s “Jamie’s Italy,” I mixed together a can of tuna with 2 tbsp. chopped capers, the zest and juice of a lemon, the finely chopped needles of two rosemary sprigs, an egg, and enough gluten free breadcrumbs to make a stiff batter. The first batch I flattened into patties and baked in the oven at 400F. These were great, but the next batch, fried in olive oil, was even better. I served these with a squeeze of lemon. My only regret is that we didn’t make more.
Next was chicken patties, adapted from Nigel Slater’s “The Kitchen Diaries.”
These were AWESOME, if I do say so myself. The recipe is wicked simple… it’s just (boneless, skinless) chicken thighs, processed until ground with pancetta cubes, chopped fresh rosemary, lemon zest, onion, and a little bit of olive oil and parmesan, enough to make the mixture moist but coherent. Then, I fried them in olive oil. The original recipe called for baking them with a bit of chicken broth, which I did the first time, but really? They were better fried. (And what isn’t?)
Next? Spicy carrot latkes.
These were very, very simple. First, I asked the Better Half to peel and grate the carrots in the food processor. Then, I asked him to dress the grated carrots with salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne. The hard part done, I then bound the carrots with egg and chickpea flour, and fried dollops of the carrot mix in canola oil. I served these with a mayo that I’d doctored with soy sauce, lime juice, and fresh chopped cilantro.
And last, but not least, the traditional potato latke. I come from Irish and Norwegian stock, so my love for the potato is exceeded only by my love for beef and cheese. And lemon zest. But that’s a story for another day.
Again, I imposed upon the Better Half to peel and grate the potatoes and an onion. My Cuisinart got quite the workout. Then, I asked him to generously salt the potatoes. They turned an ucky brown from the oxidation, but don’t worry, it doesn’t affect the flavor. I drained off the liquid the salt drew off the potatoes, and then added an egg and rice flour, stirring to combine until it made a coherent batter. I then fried them in canola oil until dark golden on both sides.
The final result?
Yum-delicious. And, the carrots and potatoes were also from the Boston Organics box, so I got to use up some of my allotment.
I especially recommend the non-meat meatballs. As we were eating them, I kept thinking “Fried protein patties of all kinds make me happy. I need to do this more!” However, we three were sooooo sleepy that we barely made it to midnight. Those latkes were sinkers, not floaters. Maybe I should have served a salad on the side. But I think the applesauce should count, right?