Monday, November 20, 2006

The Wedding Frenzy: Latkes with Pear Cranberry sauce

If I'm being wholly honest, this is the one recipe I think we shouldn't have had on the menu. It sounded yummy in principle, and the photos of it looked great, but making fifty latkes at the site was way too much trouble. Plus, all the pre-prepped potatoes turned an icky brown from oxidation, even though we had them in acidulated water.

The Pear Cranberry chutney was really wonderful though, and if you could overlook the appearance of the latkes (which I tried to fry up to a better looking color) the whole thing was very tasty. Just too much trouble.

In the end, we made about two dozen, and then bagged it. We've watched Top Chef. We know you can't send out icky dishes... Still here is the recipe:

Potato Latkes with Pear & Cranberry Chutney and Shaved Vella Dry Jack

For the Latkes:
1 yellow onion, roughly grated
1 ½ tsp coarse salt
¼ tsp ground pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup matzo meal
2 lbs (4 large) russet potatoes, peeled and grated
peanut oil for frying

For the Pear Cranberry Chutney:
5 ripe but firm Bartlett pears (about 2 ¼ lbs) peeled, cored, cut into chunks
2 tsps freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup fresh cranberries
½ cup dry white wine
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup sugar
pinch of coarse salt

8 oz shaved Vella Dry Jack

Place all Pear Cranberry sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan, toss to combine. Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until fruit breaks down to form a sauce, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool completely. Serve at room temperature.

For the latkes, in a large bowl, combine onion, salt and pepper. Add eggs, stir until incorporated. Stir in matzo until smooth, add potatoes and toss to coat.

In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat about ½ inch of oil over a medium heat until almost smoking. To test, drop a small amount of batter into the skillet – it should sizzle. Working in batches, spoon about 1 tablespoon of batter into the oil for each latke. Lightly tamp to flatten. Cook each until golden on each side – 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined rack to drain. Serve warm, topped with sauce and shaved Vella Dry Jack.

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Holidays 2003

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