Get’cher latkes, right here
June 3, 2012
I have mastered the latke.
You’ve just got to put the squeeze on that potato.
Child C, who has been a frequent presence at my table of late, since soon-to-be-Amazing Grandchild Two is nearing his debut and needs feeding. She called today, and I went and picked her up, brought her back here, and fed them. I was in the notion for latkes, and the last ones I made were WAYYY too moist and needed too much flour to thicken them, resulting in a doughy taste. Ick.
So I grabbed potatos, along with a small onion, and grated them in the new FoPro, which, as soon as I master the thing (as in not trying to put the push-thingy in upside down), I am going to LOVE. It’s a KitchenAid 750, $239 regularly, $119 on the refurbished KitchenAid website. There is no point to paying full price for ANYTHING KitchenAid, I tell you. My mixer and my FoPro came from there. Both of them at least 40 percent off retail. But I digress.
Anyway, I grated them, and I was about to dump them in the colander to drain while I did other stuff, and I espied the cheesecloth I had used last weekend for making ricotta cheese (stand by for future post regarding the eventual destination of that). So I lined my colander with that, dumped the potatos and went and did other things. And I came back and I twisted those potatos up in the cheesecloth and squeezed.
From two Yukon Gold potatos and one small yellow onion, I must have gotten better than a half-cup of liquid. No wonder the other latkes were too moist. I added an egg and a bare tablespoon of gluten-free breadcrumbs, some salt and pepper,and it was almost too dry to hold together. But they did, and they made some gloriously crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside, latkes, to go with a fried egg and some bacon for breakfast.
Elsewhen/where, I mentioned last night the stops at a couple of my favorite culinary destinations in Memphis. Friday night, it was dinner at the Flying Fish before the Redbirds’ game, complete with homage to the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals series trophy, which was on a Memphis stopover during a road trip before being ensconced in Busch Stadium. I love the Flying Fish. Was eating at it in LR long before they opened their long-awaited outpost in Memphis, which has been a mainstay on Second Street for probably 10 or 15 years. They do lots of good stuff, including po’boys and a nice spicy Mexican ceviche, but where they excel is their Cajun boil.
When they first opened, 10 bucks would get you a pound of still-steaming boiled shrimp, with a potato and a short ear of corn, the whole sprinkled with a barbecue-like spice powder. The price has gone up, the size of the shrimp has gone down, and it doesn’t seem to me they’re as spicy as they once were, but there’s still little better than shrimps from the Fish. Washed down with an icy draft Yuengling. Yum.
Then, after a lengthy Saturday that included a baby shower, Child C and I topped off before we left town with dinner at the Cupboard. Nothing new to say; I had my usual (eggplant casserole, corn pudding, cucumber salad; this time, the one variant on my veggie plate was a baked sweet potato). And all the cornbread muffins in the basket.
This, friends, is the epitome of cornbread.
1. It is not sweet.
2. It has a marvelously crunchy outside.
3. It has a soft, delicate inside.
4. It was cooked to the perfection of goldenness.
It had one thing wrong with it. There were not enough of the little darlings.
Reason enough for a return trip to Memphis, don’t'cha think?
You and y’mama ‘n ‘em check your calendars, and we’ll see when we can meet at the Cupboard for lunch. And cornbread.