Posted by Megan | Budget, Budget & Quick, Dinner, Vegetarian

Happy New Year, friends! It’s hard to believe that 2015 has arrived – it seems like 2014 flew by, though maybe we’re just getting older so years seem shorter. 2014 was a big year for us, kicking off with our wedding and followed by job changes, academic challenges, a summer internship, travel and so much more! As we’re approaching the end of our early 20s and transitioning more into the mid-20s range, we are ready and excited to tackle the new challenges that will come with 2015. We predict 2015 will be a year of even more changes than 2014, and we’re already looking forward to 2016 – the year we hope to have minimal changes, no moves, no job changes, etc. Check back with us in a year to see how that’s looking! Hah!

 

We aren’t huge resolution-makers, but Will and I have some goals that we would like to focus back in on and refocus our attention to. We’re loosely dedicating ourselves to three F’s: food, fitness, frugality. As we’ve been slowly eeking up into the middle class from being perpetual students, we have found that we are eating more extravagantly, spending a little more than we could before and have fallen off our fitness regimen. And with those growths, we have found that we aren’t as happy as we were when we had less and spent more time on feeding ourselves with good food and exercise. After spending time reflecting on the last year, we recognize that while there’s certainly nothing terribly wrong with how we go about our lives, we would like to get back to a place where healthier foods, consistent exercise and frugality were more strictly adhered to. Wish us luck as we strive to be back to our better habits.

Enough with the serious stuff – on to this recipe! Obviously with the mention of eating better, it makes perfect sense that I’m sharing a fried food with you! Ooooooops. Will has made latkes before, but when a post all about latkes came up on Buzzfeed (our guilty pleasure), it was hard for him to resist. Combine that with the fact that we had a HUGE sweet potato on hand that needed to be used and his mind was set on trying these. And why not? Sweet potato and brie? It’s basically a no-brainer.  So we wish you a happy new year and a happy new year of fun, experimental, healthy-ish cooking!

Cooking Notes: The original recipe called for baby arugula leaves, which we skipped out on. We also used 1/3 cup batches to make the latkes, which yielded a few less than the predicted 16 latkes; however, it still made a ton of servings, so we froze some. They don’t heat up wonderfully, but it will do, especially if topped with cheese or a delicious sauce, like Cheese Shop House Dressing or a Bacon and Chive Dip. Will also used a cast iron skillet to fry the latkes, which is highly recommended.

Sweet Potato Latkes with Brie (adapted from Joy of Kosher; serves 6-8)
1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup whole milk
Canola oil, for frying
4 oz. brie cheese, cut into slices

Begin by preparing your ingredients – peel and shred the sweet potato(es), crack and lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl, line a sheet pan with two layers of paper towels, and begin to heat a 1/4″ oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potato, flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, eggs and milk. Working in batches, drop 1/3 cup batter into the oil and with a spatula, flatten slightly into circles. Fry until lightly browned and crispy, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove from pan, drain on the prepared pan and continue with remaining batter until all batter is used.

While frying latkes, preheat the broiler. Once all the latkes are fried, remove the paper towels from the pan. Place a slice of cheese on all the latkes you intend to eat immediately*, and broil until the cheese is slightly melted and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Serves two latkes per person with a side of sautéd kale and enjoy!

*If you plan to eat latkes later and either store in the fridge or freezer, leave on a sheet to come to room temperature before storing in the fridge or in the freezer. When ready to eat, heat broiler and follow instructions to continue baking.

Recipe: Joy of Kosher: Sweet Potato Latkes with Brie and Baby Arugula

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