Latkes: Latkes, Israel Aharoni's - dairy

Posted by : Ruth Heiges

"How many ways can you grate a potato?" asked Israel Aharoni, the chef and  
owner of the Tipuach Zahav (Golden Apple) restaurant in Tel Aviv and a food 
columnist for Yediot Aharonot, a daily newspaper there. "Although I love all 
kinds of potato pancakes, I am for variation."
At a gala dinner in Washington earlier this year celebrating the 50th
anniversary of Israel, Aharoni prepared pint-size leek patties as hors
d'oeuvres. "I got the idea for this from a traditional Sephardic leek patty 
from the Balkans usually served at Passover," he said.
My note: Leeks are traditional at both Passover and Rosh Hashanah. 

Adapted from Israel Aharoni
Time: 1 hour
6 leeks (about 2 pounds) 
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for frying 
1 large onion, peeled and diced 
6 cloves garlic, or to taste, peeled and diced 
4 shallots, peeled and diced 
1/3 cup pine nuts 
1/2 bunch cilantro (about 1 cup), diced 
2 large eggs 
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese 
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 
1/2 cup bread crumbs or matzoh meal, plus one-third cup for coating.
1. Cut leeks lengthwise, and wash them well to remove any grit. Dice the  
leeks, and either steam them or place them in boiling salted water for about 5 
to 7 minutes, or until they are tender. Drain leeks well, pressing them in a 
dish towel to remove any excess water.
2. Heat oil in nonstick frying pan, and add onion, garlic and shallots. Saute
until soft, about 5 minutes.
3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place pine nuts on a baking pan, and toast for a
few minutes until evenly browned.
4. Place leeks, onion, garlic, shallots, pine nuts, cilantro, eggs and cheese in
a mixing bowl, and blend well, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add about 1/2
cup bread crumbs, or enough to bind.
5. Take about 1/4 cup of the leek mixture, and make a patty 2 inches in
diameter. Coat patty with bread crumbs, and repeat with remaining mixture.
6. Coat a nonstick frying pan thinly with remaining olive oil, and fry the
patties for a few minutes on each side. (For cocktail-size patties, use 1
teaspoon of mixture.) Drain on paper towels.
Yield: 16 large latkes or 50 small ones.

Joan Nathan
New York Times

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