I was so happy to see that Ilva over at Lucullian Delights was taking over the Paper Chef challenges. You can read the instructions for the challenge on her blog but the main idea is that everyone tries to come up with a recipe using the same 4 randomly selected ingredients.
This time the ingredients were potato, rutabaga, plum tomatoes, and bacon. The only substitution we had to make was Bacos for the real bacon. I had never had rutabaga before but I did a little research and found out they are often prepared similarly to potatoes so that made it a lot easier. Grocery shopping was actually the most challenging part because the rutabagas didn't have stickers on them. Based on the fact that Kay and I recognized all the other vegetables in that produce aisle, we took a chance and bought the one that was left. The check out clerk verified that we had gotten the correct thing so that was one challenge down!
(Kay chopping onions for the first time - she didn't even cry!)
Kay helped a lot in making these. For the first time, she chopped the tomato and onion. She also got to do her favorite cooking task - shredding things in the food processor! The whole family was really happy with how these turned out so I'm sure we'll be repeating this recipe.
Thyme for Latkes
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup minced onion
salt and pepper to taste
leaves removed from 4 sprigs of thyme
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and set aside. If it is winter you will want to leave this mixture sit for a couple hours to get some flavor into the tomatoes.
2 pounds shredded potato (not peeled)
1 pound rutabaga, peeled and shredded
1/4 of a large onion, shredded
1/3 cup flour
leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme
salt and pepper to taste
peanut oil for frying
Place the potato, rutabaga, and onion in a large bowl. Mix in the eggs, flour, thyme, salt and pepper (hands work best).
Heat about 4 tablespoons peanut oil in a saute pan over high heat for 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high. Form patties with the potato mixture, squeezing out any excess moisture and place 2-3 in the pan at the time. Press each patty with the back of a spatula. Cook until browned, 3-4 minutes, flip, and cook other side. Remove the patties from the pan onto paper towels to drain. Continue with the remaining potato mixture.
After every few batches, you will need to add more oil to the pan.
The fried latkes can be kept in a 200 degree oven while you continue to cook.
When completed, top each latke with some sour cream, a spoonful of the salsa, and a sprinkling of Bacos (or real bacon bits if you prefer).
Kay: These were really good but I didn't use the salsa. I used ketchup instead which is still tomatoes so I think it counts! The rutabaga tastes just like potatoes to me so these tasted just like regular latkes.
(Yes, Kay still eats off her Blue's Clues plate!)
Mom (Dana): In the middle of cooking I made the mistake of assembling one to take a picture of. Then I had to eat it, of course, and was dying for more! I really liked these. I wasn't too sure about the bacos but they worked well with the other flavors. I was also really worried about my rock hard winter tomatoes but they ended up tasting fine. The thyme added a nice flavor change from our regular latkes.
Thanks for hosting this Ilva. We had lots of fun!