BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Root Vegetable Latkes

  • Prep Time 20 minutes
  • Cook Time 20 minutes
  • Estimated Cost $8
  • 0 Comments

When I think about the exterior caramelization that happens when a shredded sweet potato hits hot oil, there's just nothing else for me.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I prefer sweet potatoes.

I know, I know. As an American Jew (two groups known for their deep love of the white potato), it's practically blasphemous for me to shun the humble Russet. And yeah, I can see its place in a recipe now and then: The toothsome steak fryThe knish. The pierogi--potatoes do makes sense there. But still, given the choice, I go for the yams.

It seems like the latke should be the kind of potato exception that a non-potato-lover like myself should make. But when I think about the exterior caramelization that happens when a shredded sweet potato hits hot oil, there's just nothing else for me.

Here, I've taken things over the top by adding more sweet root vegetables: carrots (I used rainbow carrots, but any kind will work), and beets, which add a pop of bright purple color, as well as earthy sweetness. I've kept the seasoning simple--just thinly sliced scallions, salt, and pepper, but these would welcome a bit of grated ginger, fresh turmeric, and/or minced garlic, too. Feel free to get creative. 

But whatever you do, be sure to eat these hot, right out of the pan (or oven, where you'll warm them), with plenty of sour cream and/or applesauce. Tonight, I'll be serving these alongside mouthwateringly tender brisket and some roasted broccolini. But between you, me, and the applesauce, these latkes will be the star of the show.  

I mean, just look at that. How could they not be?

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds (orange-fleshed) sweet potatoes, scrubbed and grated (no need to peel) $2.50
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and grated $1
  • 4 small beets, cooked, peeled, and grated (Trader Joes' Steamed and Peeled Baby Beets are a great shortcut here) $2
  • 3 scallions (white and green parts), trimmed and sliced thinly $1 for a bunch
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and freshly cracked black pepper Pantry
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten $1.50 for 6
  • 1/3 cup flour Pantry
  • oil, for frying (I like the flavor of a half-and-half blend of olive oil and cocont oil, but vegetable, canola, or grapeseed oils all work well) Pantry  

Recipe Serves 6-8

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sweet potato, carrots, beets, scallions, salt, pepper, egg, and flour. Stir well, using a spoon or your hands, until well-combined.
  3. Pour the oil into one or two large frying pans until it comes up about 1/2 inch in the pan. 
  4. Heat the oil over medium-high heat, until it sizzles when a piece of grated sweet potato is added. 
  5. Wet your hands under running water, and form a latke into 2-1/2-inch rounds that are about 1/2 inch thick. (though you should feel free to make them larger or smaller as desired). 
  6. Add the latke immediately to the hot pan and continue forming latkes and adding them to the pan, until the pan is full, with plenty of space between each latke. (To give you an idea of what this looks like, I cook 4-5 small latkes at a time in my 12-inch frying pan.)
  7. Cook for 1-2 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning. 
  8. Flip the latkes in the order you added them to the pan so they brown evenly, then cook for another minute or two, until the latkes are crispy on the outside.
  9. As the latkes finish, transfer them to a baking sheet (make sure to leave space between them), and keep warm in the oven.
  10. Serve the latkes hot, with sour cream, creme fraiche, or Greek yogurt, and applesauce (my favorite is this one, which features cardamom). 

Sweet Potato Latkes

  • Prep Time 0:15
  • Cook Time 0:10
  • Estimated Cost $5
  • 3 Comments

T’was the night before Hanukkah and all through the shtetl
Not a person was stirring, not even dreidel
The tzimmes were simmering in the slow-cooker with care
In hopes that the mishpocha soon would be there
The kinder were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of sweet potato latkes danced in their heads!

Just try them, you’ll see. These are latkes you fall asleep thinking about and wake up craving.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb garnet yams, grated (I like to leave the peel on) $2
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced $1 for a bunch
  • 1/2 medium onion, grated $0.50 for a whole onion
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour Pantry
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten $1.50 for 6
  • 1 tsp salt Pantry
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper Pantry
  • 3/4 cup olive oil (vegetable or canola oil will work too, but I prefer the taste of olive oil) Pantry

Recipe Serves 6-8

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine grated yams, scallions, onion, flour, egg, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat until viscous.
  4. Form about 3 tbsp of sweet potato mixture into a ball and flatten it gently between your palms. 
  5. Slide it into the oil, and repeat with the remaining mixture, working in batches, so as to leave room between the latkes as they cook. 
  6. Drain cooked latkes on paper towels, and transfer to an ungreased baking sheet and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

Lamb Tagine with Golden Raisins and Almonds

  • Prep Time 0:30
  • Cook Time 2:30
  • Estimated Cost $18.50
  • 1 Comment

Tagines were the original Crock-Pots—the very first “set-it-and-forget-it” appliances. Tagines (the name for both the stew and the dish it’s cooked in) hail from Morocco, but their popularity now spans worldwide—and for good reason: cooking meat over low heat for long periods of time in flavorful spices and liquid yields a tender, aromatic result. The cone-shaped top on traditional tagines helps in this, promoting the return of all condensation to the bottom, allowing the stew’s ingredients to cook evenly.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a tagine though—you can also cook this in a dutch oven or other large pot with a fitted lid.

Note: Remember to buy your raisins and almonds in the bulk section for the best prices.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil Pantry
  • 1 pound boneless lamb stew meat (cut into 1" pieces) $7
  • 1 red onion, halved and sliced $0.50
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped Pantry
  • 1 1" piece ginger, peeled and grated $0.50
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 2" strips $1
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into coin $0.50
  • 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes $3
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon $1.50 for 1 oz.
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric $1.50 for 1 oz.
  • 3/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper Pantry
  • 1 tablespoon honey Pantry
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins $1
  • 1/4 cup blanched, slivered almonds $1
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped $1 for a bunch

Recipe Serves 4

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a dutch oven or tagine over medium-high heat. Brown the lamb on both sides, working in batches if necessary. Place browned meat on a clean plate and set aside.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add the onions and garlic to the pan (there should be enough fat left from the meat to cook them, but if not, add a touch more oil). 
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until onions begin to wilt. 
  4. Add the ginger, bell pepper, carrots, diced tomatoes and 1/2 cup water. 
  5. Stir in the cinnamon, turmeric, salt, pepper, honey and raisins.
  6. Return the lamb to the mixture, stir well to combine, and cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, undisturbed, for 2 1/2 hour, or until lamb is very tender
  7. Serve in bowls, plain or over rice/couscous/quinoa, garnished with the almonds and chopped cilantro.
  8. Other good toppings are harissa (or other hot sauce), plain yogurt and/or chopped kalamata olives.

 

"How on earth did you finagle hanging out with Rick Bayless?!" my mother texted me last Thursday evening, after seeing a slew of photos in my Instagram feed of the world-famous chef out and about with a group of Bay Area food bloggers and myself. 

"I'm not really sure!!" I texted back, giddy. In truth, I was invited by Negra Modelo to join a blogger tour of the Mission District in San Francisco with Bayless, culminating in a party/cooking demo wherein he would talk about Negra Modelo and working with Latin American ingredients, but in a looser sense, I really wasn't sure how it all happened. How did I get so lucky as to get to do this kind of thing---for a living, no less? 

(I should probably also say here that I am a total dork when it comes to meeting celebrity chefs. Introduce me to a famous actor and I am totally cool. But put me in aroom with a Michael Chiarello or Alex Guarnaschelli and I will flush like a tween meeting One Direction for the first time. So needless to say, meeting Bayless in person made me a little bit nervous, and a whole lot excited. 

Fortunately, Bayless could not have been more down to earth, which put me immediately at ease. The tour also could not have been more delicious. 

We started at a fantastic Mexicatessan, where we sampled fresh huaraches, which are thick, often stuffed, corn tortillas, similar to pupusas

We ate them with Mexican crema and plenty of fresh cabbage, and, of course, cold Negra Modelo. So delicious. 

Next, we headed to an incredible Mexican butcher, where we learned about the local history of "flap meat", also known as carne asada. 

And what's a tour without dessert? Obviously, we had to make a stop at Reyna Bakery, a long-standing family-owned Mexican bakery, where we tasted several different Mexican pastries. These, which were filled with sweet berry preserves, were outrageous.

 

Our next stop was a Mexican restaurant in the SoMa neighborhood of San Francisco, and just as we begun wondering how we were going to get there, a trolley showed up.

That's right. A trolley. (I know it looks like a cable car, but I assure you, there were no cables in sight.)

As you can see here, Bayless is definitely participating in Movember. (Also pictured here, sitting next to him, is his super-cool culinary assistant, Katy.)

Then, we were off to the party portion of the evening (as if the tour hadn't been fun enough!). There, I was greeted by two awesome things:

My cute boyfriend. 

 And a cold Negra Modelo. 

The night was incredibly fun. We learned about several Mexican ingredients, including avocados, chiles, onions (as it turns out, there is a difference between white and yellow onions--use white ones when you want raw onions for salsa or guacamole, and rinse them first!), and, yes, beer. 

I've long been a fan of Negra Modelo (which I can honestly say goes with just about anything) and the opportunity to drink it while eating delicious food AND hanging out with the great Rick Bayless was just too wonderful to pass up.

As we nibbled tacos and sipped our Negra Modelos, I looked over at two of my dearest food blogging friends, Amy and Sean, raised my glass, and declared, "We have a good life." 

Also wonderful, was the awesome group of food bloggers I got to spend the day with. Some of whom I knew, and many of whom I got to meet for the first time. If you want to check them out, here they are:

Special thanks to Negra Modelo for making this incredible day happen (Negra Modelo on FacebookInstagram or Twitter or follow their hashtag#ThePerfectComplement), and to the great Rick Bayless for joining us and sharing such wonderful kitchen wisdom! I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are my own. 

A couple of years ago, I ran a holiday cookbook special, where I sold personalized, signed, gift-wrapped copies of my first book, The BrokeAss Gourmet Cookbook. It was so fun and successful, that this year, I decided to do it again with Pizza Dough: 100 Delicious, Unexpected Recipes, and this time I am stepping up my game. 

This year, for $40 (plus shipping, which usually runs about $5), I'll ship you or someone you love a beautiful signed, personalized, hard-bound copy of Pizza Dough: 100 Delicious, Unexpected Recipes, plus a gorgeous tea towel, and a large wooden spoon, so you or your giftee can get started cooking right away. 

I cannot tell you how proud I am of this book. I mean, just look at these gorgeous photos of delicious dough creations (taken by the wildly talented and delightful Frankie Frankey).

From pizza...

...to ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls

 

...and focaccia

 

...to sopapillas

And so much more.

Let me take care of your holiday shopping this year! Simply fill in this form and I'll send you a digital invoice. Once you've paid the invoice, I'll start putting your order together and you can officially stop worrying about your holiday shopping for the year.

This holiday season, give the gift of pizza dough! 

Questions? Email me! I'm at gabi@brokeassgourmet.com.