Thursday, January 08, 2009

Zucchini Latkes & Rosemary and Brown Butter Applesauce

When I was invited to my friend Ann Le’s Hanukkah/holiday party, I decided to make zucchini latkes. Having never made any kind of latke before, this wasn’t the brightest thing to do. I couldn’t keep a little zucchini patty together if my life depended on it. My kitchen looked as if a zucchini had thrown up in it by the time I was through, and I’d invented three new swear words, none of them pretty. But … from the few blobby, unattractive zucchini latkes that came out of the venture, I can definitely say that they taste good. So I’m putting this recipe up, for anyone who’d like to try it and give me some advice.

Along with it I’m including the Rosemary and Brown Butter Applesauce I made for the party, as well. Even though the zucchini latkes should be served with sour cream (my sis spiked ours with dill), this applesauce recipe deserves exposure. The rosemary gives it a distinctive freshness, and the brown butter pushes it over the edge into the decadent category. I took one bowl to the party and canned the rest for my parents’ Christmas basket. I plan to can a great deal more before this winter is through. The original Bon Appetit recipe was a little complicated, involving a food mill. I dumbed it down, and it came out just fine.

Rosemary and Brown Butter Applesauce
adapted from Bon Appetit


- 3 cups unsweetened apple juice
- 3 4-inch fresh rosemary sprigs
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 1/2 pounds (7 to 8 medium) Braeburn apples, peeled, quartered, cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 12 cups)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter


1) Combine apple juice, rosemary, and cinnamon, plus a large pinch of salt, it a large pot. (Hmm, I forgot to add the salt).

2) Boil until juice is reduced by half, about 8 minutes.

3) Mix in apples. Cover; cook over medium heat until apples are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. Uncover and, if necessary, cook until liquid evaporates. Discard rosemary and cinnamon. (Basically, I cooked this until it turned into applesauce!)

4) Melt butter in small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until butter browns, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.

5) Mix brown butter into applesauce.

6) Can immediately (use proper canning methods) or cool and put in the fridge.

7) Bring to room temperature or re-warm before serving.

Zucchini Latkes
from Gourmet


- 3 pounds zucchini
- 1 1/3 cups plain fine dry bread crumbs
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram (I used thyme)
- About 1 cup vegetable oil for frying


1. Grate zucchini using medium shredding disk of a food processor. Transfer to a bowl and toss with 2 teaspoons salt. Let stand 30 minutes.

2. Squeeze zucchini in batches in a kitchen towel to remove as much liquid as possible.

3. Transfer zucchini to a large bowl and stir in bread crumbs, eggs, marjoram, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

4. Preheat oven to 200°F.

5. Heat 1/3 cup oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers.

6. Scoop 2 tablespoon mixture per latke into skillet (6 to 8 per batch).

7. Flatten with a fork to form 2 1/2-to 3-inch pancakes.

8. Fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side (adding more oil as necessary).

9. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and keep warm in oven.

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