Brussel sprout latkes with basil aioli

 With the move behind us, I was excited and maybe a little anxious to get in the kitchen and make my first meal. Technically my first meals were frozen pizzas, takeout chicken fingers, and the inaugural box of Kraft Mac and Cheese… but let’s not split hairs.

I’ve always wanted to cook seasonally and try recipes that were based on what was happening. My favorite holiday to cook for is Cinco de Mayo (2015, 2014, 2013)… and least favorite was the Philippine inspired dish for the finale of Survivor one year. But Sunday was the first day of Hanukkah, and one of my coworkers was talking about making latkes over weekend.  So latkes it is!


Coincidentally, I came across a recipe for brussel sprout latkes on instagram and knew that would be the winner. I love brussel sprouts but can always use a way to eat them that isn’t seared in a pan with parmesan cheese and pancetta. I really loved these suckers.

A few things:
  • Base // My latke base was primarily leek, shredded potato, and brussel sprouts. I was a little concerned all brussel sprout would not be able to hold together super well. The potato ratio mitigated this risk. Think 60% brussel, 40% potato
  • Frozen Hashbrowns // I used frozen hashbrowns that I quickly defrosted in the microwave. When you use fresh potatoes, it is a rather labor intensive and tedeious activity removing as much moisture from the potato before frying. Moist potato will not get crispy.
  • Smoke show // I split my batch between cooked on the stovetop and in the oven. After 3 latkes on the stove, I was getting a lot of smoke because my pan got way too hot. I took a risk and tried to make the rest of the batter in the oven …. And it worked like a charm. I can see this as being a great option for less clean-up and healthier because you use less oil.
Here’s how it goes. Like many things, latkes are a bit of an art maybe in terms of ingredient ratios – but I don’t think you can really screw this up as long as you have enough moisture (e.g. egg) to act as glue without being too wet that it won’t crisp up.
 
(Step 1) In a mixing bowl, combine the Brussels sprouts, leeks, eggs, flour, lemon zest and juice, and salt. Stir until the flour is fully incorporated. Don’t be afraid to use your hands.

(Step 2) Heat a thin layer of coconut oil in a large skillet over high heat. Maybe like 1 tbsp depending on the size of your skillet.

(Step 3 - STOVETOP) Arrange a layer of Brussels sprout latkes in the hot oil, 1-tablespoon of batter per. Smaller is better to start. Gently flatten the scoops with a flat metal spatula. This will help the latkes stay together during flipping because all the goodness will be more compact.
Cook until browned and very crispy on the first side, about 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully flip and repeat on the second side, adding more oil as necessary. Remove from the skillet and let rest on a paper towel while you make the rest of the batch.

(Step 3 – OVEN) Honestly, this is the easier option – I will absolutely go this route in the future.  Preheat oven to 450 F and line a cookie sheet with tinfoil. Lightly spray the foil with a cooking spray (PAM, coconut oil, etc). Make your latkes on the sheet the same way you would in the skillet. Drop the mixture in small portions, flatten with a spatula, and toss in the oven. When the edges begin to turn a darker brown (almost burnt really), take the sheet from the oven and flip the latkes. Back in the oven until the top is the cover you are hoping for. All in this process might be 40 minutes?

(Step 4) Combine the ingredients for the aioli in a small dish and mix until the well combined and smooth. Reserve a little bit of basil for plating.

(Step 5) Serve the latkes with the aioli, lemon, and sprinkle of chopped basil. I needed to add a bit more salt for taste but maybe you are a better person than I am.

Based on this recipe from Feed Me Phoebe 
 
Shopping List
2 cups chopped Brussels sprouts (from about 1 pound)
1 cup shredded frozen potato – defrosted, and squeezed in paper towel to remove moisture
1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
2 extra-large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup flour
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon sea salt
Coconut oil, for frying

For the aioli
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Sea salt

¼ cup chopped basil (3 big leaves?)

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