Monday, January 12, 2015

Guest Post: Jessica's Zucchini's Latkes

My friend Jessica is a great cook. If you go to a restaurant with her and love something on the menu, Jessica can have one bite and recreate it for you another day. She's also very sensitive to the dietary restrictions of others and does her research to make sure she doesn't accidentally give someone something they are allergic or intolerant to.  Jessica has been making me delicious treats since our college days, and I'm so lucky our friendship has continued for over 10 years. 

The below recipe and blog is all hers! Enjoy!

*****

I love experimenting in the kitchen, cooking has been my creative outlet since college. Adapting recipes to meet specific dietary requirements was something I tackled out of necessity. My husband and I are lactose intolerant and I have spent a great deal of time finding tasty alternatives to dairy filled delights (Chocolate Coconut Mousse and Spicy Cashew Queso –both GF by the way). Creating gluten free alternatives for friends is just as fun. My recent experiments have included gluten free Sticky Toffee Pudding and Southwest Zucchini Latkes with Smoked Salmon.
             My husband and I do not keep a gluten free kitchen. Knowing this I take the following precautions to keep my friends safe from cross contamination.
·         I have a separate collection of GF baking ingredients (i.e. GF flours, sugars, baking powder) that are stored in marked Ziploc bags. I only use these ingredients when preparing gluten free food to avoid inadvertently dipping a spoon used for wheat flour into a bag of sugar or tin of baking soda.
·         I check with friends to make sure that the products I purchase are safe for their consumption and do not assume the absence of gluten in the list of ingredients means that the item will not make them sick.
·         I wash and clean surfaces and utensils thoroughly before cooking/baking to avoid the introduction of any gluten into the food.
·         I store finished products in containers that are GF only.
·         If there are any questions about cross contamination of a product, I start from fresh.
·         If there any concerns about preparing food in a kitchen that contains gluten (my kitchen) I have no problem picking something up from a GF bakery or restaurant. My friends are more important than my cooking.


            The following recipe is a modern take on a seasonal favorite. We cobbled this together with some leftovers in the fridge for a weekend brunch. You can mix and match different vegetables (butternut squash, sweet potato, or beet) for this recipe. If you are not a smoked salmon fan, poached eggs or a homemade spicy chicken chorizo would pair nicely. Enjoy! - Jessica 



Southwest Zucchini Latkes with Smoked Salmon

Ingredients

2 cups shredded zucchini with moisture squeezed or drained out. (See note below)
1 medium shallot minced
2 tablespoons gluten free flour (I use Bob’s Redmill products)
1 egg beaten
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces smoked salmon
1 avocado
½ cup Hatch chile salsa (or any salsa you prefer)
Salt and pepper to taste

1.      Mix shallot and drained zucchini together in a bowl.
2.      Add salt and pepper to beaten egg.
3.      Mix vegetable mixture and eggs together.
4.      Sprinkle the gluten free flour over the vegetable mixture and gently mix until it is incorporated into the mix. Set mixture aside
5.      Preheat olive oil in a frying pan to medium high heat.
6.      Scoop ¼ cup of zucchini mixture into heated frying pan (3 or 4 scoops at a time depending on the size of your frying pan). Mixture should divide into 8 small latkes.
7.      Fry each side until golden brown then remove to drain on paper towel. (If you are not going to use them immediately you may hold them in warm oven at 200F or 250F to keep until you serve).
8.      To serve, top each latke with ½ ounce of salmon, 2 slices of avocado and salsa.
Serves 4 (each serving will include 2 latkes, 1 ounce of salmon, ¼ avocado, 1/8 cup of salsa)

Notes:

Preparing Zucchini:
It is important to reduce to water content in the zucchini before cooking. Grate your zucchini on a box grater or using a food processor. Using a clean dishtowel, place grated zucchini in the center of the towel. Wrapping the towel around the outside of the zucchini, squeeze the bundle. A substantial amount of water should drain out of the vegetable.

Increasing the Spice:
If you prefer spicy latkes you may add ½ -1 teaspoon of New Mexico or ground chipotle to your vegetable mixture before cooking. 

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