Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

Mashed potato latkes

November 30, 2013

Every year when Hanukkah comes around, I pick a night to make latkes and a brisket. And every year, I swear I will not only make latkes for Hanukkah.

Similarly, a lot of people go crazy about selecting, preparing and serving a turkey for Thanksgiving and never think about it again the rest of the year.

This year, with Thanksgiving falling on the first day of the Feast of Lights, I was concerned about when I might make my latkes. Even with a scaled back crowd attending dinner this year, I knew realistically we wouldn’t be done with the leftovers until at least half-way through Hanukkah.

The first night after Thanksgiving, we finished up the leftover ravioli and sauce and meatballs and sausage. On Saturday night, we set our sights on some turkey, the end of the dressing, green beans, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes.

MASHED POTATOES! 

Why not repurpose those leftover mashed potatoes into latkes. I could still spoon some of the gravy over them. Or top them with cranberry sauce.  Of course a dollop of sour cream is always nice.

What a great idea! And so easy to do.  They turned out great! Crisp exterior with a fluffy interior. 

The convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah that occurred this year won’t happen again for 70,000 years.

Don’t wait that long to try this recipe. mplatkes

Mashed Potato Latkes

  •          Leftover mashed potatoes (approximately 2 cups) at room temperature
  •          1 large egg
  •          ½ to 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  •          Vegetable oil

In a large bowl, sprinkle about ¼ cup of the flour over the potatoes.  Add the egg and work into the flour and potatoes. Add just enough additional flour to form a cohesive dough that is just stiff enough to be workable. Don’t overdo it.

Pour oil into a 10 or 12 inch skillet (cast iron is perfect for this) to a depth of about ½ an inch. Heat the oil over a medium flame until it sizzles when a small piece of the dough is dropped into it. (About 7 minutes).

Grease a ¼ cup measuring cup with Pam or a similar spray oil. Fill with the dough mixture and drop into the hot oil. Flatten the dough slightly with a spoon. Do this three more times. Do not overcrowd the pan.  Cook until browned, four to five minutes, flip and cook for another four or five minutes.

Remove the latkes from the skillet and set on paper towel lined platter to drain. Cover to keep them warm. You may want to lightly salt and pepper them to taste. Repeat until you have used up the dough.  Serve warm with sour cream and applesauce (or the Thanksgiving leftovers).

Makes 8 – 10 potato pancakes.

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Leftovers, Pt. 2: Mashed Potatoes = Gnocchi

November 29, 2009

It’s the Sunday night after Thanksgiving and we’ve done a decent job of working through the leftovers from the big feast.  We still had some meatballs, sausage and tomato sauce leftover from the ravioli we served.  And we had still has some mashed potatoes on hand as well.

Wanting to take a break from the turkey, dressing, cranberry rut I opted for a little culinary alchemy and turned the mashed potatoes into gnocchi. It was a good call and a delicious dinner.

Here’s what I did:

  • 2 cups mashed potatoes at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (approximate)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons of grated pecorino romano (optional)

Bring three quarts of water to a boil in a large pot.  Salt the water and turn down to a slow boil.

In a bowl, mix the beaten eggs with the mashed potatoes and the cheese if using. Add the flour in 1/2 cup increments and work in until you get a soft, but not sticky dough. (you may not use all two cups…tonight I only needed about 1 and 3/4 cups).

Pinch off a ball of dough a little larger than a golf ball and roll out on the counter until you have a “snake” about 3/4″ in diameter.  Using a table knife, cut the snake into dumplings 1″ long.  Take a fork and sit it on the counter with the end of the tines pointing up.  Place one of the dumplings in the bow of the fork.  Applying just enough downward pressure to create ridges on the underside and a depression on the top.  At the same time, flick your finger and roll the dumpling off the end of the fork. (This is the tricky part…but it’s easier than it sounds and you’ll get the hang of it by time you’ve worked through all of the dough).

When you’ve turned all the dough into gnocchi, add them to the pot of water.  Stir gently to prevent sticking.  When all the gnocchi float to the top, cook for another minute or two (you can pull one out and taste for doneness).  Remove from water with a spider or strainer and toss in a warm bowl with the sauce of your choice.

There aren’t many better ways to use up leftovers.

Leftovers, Pt. 1: What’s on your sandwich?

November 29, 2009

Six of us were having (a non-turkey) dinner Saturday night and discussing Thanksgiving leftovers.

All were pretty much in agreement that no matter how much was consumed at the T-day table, the day wasn’t complete until a turkey sandwich was constructed and consumed. But what constituted the perfect sandwich was another matter.

For me, the sandwich had to have both white and dark meat; on buttered bread that was then slathered with mayonnaise. My earliest memories are of the sandwich being constructed on two slices of the mainstream Wonder-type grocery store bread.  As I got older, I would look for something more substantial to build the sandwich on.  Rye if there was some in the house, or a couple of slices of italian bread left over from the ravioli portion of the meal.  Some years, torpedo rolls or (better yet) snowflake* rolls purchased in advance for this purpose were employed in the production of the postprandial sandwich. Now days, the sandwich is built with two slices of homemade, rustic bread.

No matter what breadstuffs were employed as bookends, the contents of my sandwich was always the same, turkey, butter, mayo.  I thought, in my youthful ignorance, that was the only acceptable recipe for a turkey sandwich made from Thanksgiving leftovers.

As noted in my post about cranberry sauce, I was in college when I was introduced to the basic turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce added.  Interesting…it adds a touch of sweet and sour to the classic combination.  But I wasn’t giving up my standard.

Some folks, I have come to find out, add a helping of leftover dressing to their sandwich, either with or without the cranberry sauce.  I have to admit, I haven’t tried this.  I love our traditional sausage and mushroom dressing and will heat up a helping to have on the side with my turkey sandwich. 

The idea of adding what is essentially a savory bread pudding to the contents of a sandwich seems, even to me, a bit of overkill.

Then again, Thanksgiving does celebrate bounty/encourage gluttony, so why not?

*For those not familiar, the snowflake roll is a soft dinner roll similar to the common hamburger bun but dusted generously with flour for the “snowflake” effect.  Delightfully messy and quite a tasty conveyance for all manner of hand meals (aka sandwiches).