Getting back into the swing of actually writing consistent blogs is going to be a work in progress for me. The last time I did this, I was driving in circles around the country on my first “official” blogging wanderlust (month-long road trip/quitting of job without a backup plan…where I wrote things down. Yay!)
It’s been a dauntingly long week with a solid mix of attempted culinary creativity and takeout chicken doused in salad dressing (I will explain). Let’s start with my good side…Tuesday, during my daily morning-coffee-dinner-planning custom, I decided that if I wanted to ever take a vacation again in my life that I needed to make a solid attempt at planning food with my bank account, not my brain. If I shopped with my brain, I might as well pack up my apartment and live inside of Fairway next to the stand with fresh mozzarella and slices of prosciutto. I sometimes dream of winning an all-you-can-buy food shopping spree and just absolutely losing my little marbles over jarred seasonings, olive oil and assorted mango chutneys. I would rather get a gift card to Fairway than Victoria’s Secret or any shopping mall. I’ll repeat that for proper absorption…I would rather get a gift card to Fairway than Victoria’s Secret or any shopping mall. Let that thought marinate for a bit.
Back to the broke girl and her bizarre life goals…I settled on sweet potato latkes with apple sour cream, because they are shockingly cheap to buy and prepare (cheap = rent gets paid). I finagled a recipe a few months back that seemed to work out well upon execution. Before I go further, I need to give you fair warning that I do NOT like to follow recipes (other than the ones that I make up on the spot). Well, I mainly dislike following precise measurements within recipes, which is probably the reason why I end up with more ingredients on my clothes/the counter/the floor/down the sink/under the stove grates/in my hair than I do inside the mixing bowl. But honestly, this isn’t baking people. Measuring cup= optional. Feel the freedom.
For the sake of being reasonable, I’ll try my absolute best:
Sweet Potato Latkes with Apple Sour Cream:
Serves about 3 people, or 2 people plus somebody’s work lunch tomorrow…
-2 sweet potatoes, shredded with a cheese grater
-½ of a large yellow onion, chopped as finely as you can.
-Flour (guestimate the amount, about 10 scoops until the mix sticks together??)
-Brown sugar (again…approximate. I’d say about 4 scoops?).
-A few splashes of apple juice
-Veggie oil for frying (or whatever oil you want)
Now one of the most important parts of this dish, which I learned about about the hard way, is to squeeze out as much water as possible from the shredded sweet potatoes by pressing the shredded bits in between pieces of paper towel. Squeeze your little pants off. If you don’t, you will get soggy latkes no matter how long you smother them in sizzling oil on top of the stove. Next, add the onions, flour, eggs and brown sugar and mix with your hands (not optional). Heat the oil until it’s hot enough to sizzle when you flick it with water, and then ball up the mixture and flatten to form patties a little smaller than a hamburger (smaller is better). Drop into the oil and flatten a little bit more with a spatula.
Sip your wine. If you haven’t opened wine yet, you’ve made a mistake. This is sometimes one of the most important parts of my day.
Once the fritters are well browned, flip and press with the spatula again (do this periodically, you want to be sure you get all the extra moisture out of these things). Let them cook a good long while, longer than white potatoes. Mine burnt a little, but the caramelization was too hard to resist. They were burnt so good.
For the sour cream, you very simply pour the apple juice into a little saucepan and reduce over low heat until it’s about half its volume. Taste it, it should be getting a little closer to an apple syrup kind of taste. Pour into the sour cream and mix. Dip your latkes in the sour cream and bask in the tangy flavor explosion of happy. Sip more wine.
Happy Tuesday 😉