I just had porridge for breakfast. The last time I had porridge was in Edinburgh in December 2006. It's strange that I haven't eaten it since as I like it very much, but it always seems like too big of a commitment on a normal morning. I take my breakfasts very seriously. This morning, however, I woke up early and fancied a nice luxurious Saturday breakfast. I even decided to make it properly, in a pan, which turned out to be not much more hassly than using the microwave. I used half water and half milk-from-a-bean (compromise on the commitment of using all milk), and added some soaked dried apricots, some banana and some cinnamon. It was creamy and yum, although I feel a little weighed down now. Good thing it's a lazy Saturday!
But the main business of this post is Stephanie from Dispensing Happiness's latest blog party. After the fun of the last one I was definitely up for more. The theme this month, though, is 'fried', which at first left me a bit flummoxed. I'm a bit of a healthy-eating nut (no pun intended since I don't like nuts), and frying doesn't usually feature too much in my cooking. However, a little more thought and I realised that there were actually several likely contenders. I settled on a variant of potato latkes - grated potato fritters eaten at Chanukah to commemorate the fact that a tiny bit of oil left in the Jews' desecrated Temple miraculously lasted for a whole week while more could be harvested (processed? made? found? brought? I just don't know). I have tried making these before and they got a bit of a thumbs down from The Scientist. They were just a bit bland, even made with onions and seasoning. That was about 6 years ago, though, and I thought it was about time to try to sneak them under his radar again.
This time, I jazzed them up. I added grated Jerusalem artichoke to the potato, and some smoked paprika, which is one of our favourite seasonings and usually adds a real depth of flavour to anything you add it to. Latkes are so easy they don't really have a recipe - grate potatoes (and onion and/or other root veggies). Press out excess water. Add a little egg, seasoning and whatever spices you fancy. Shape into patties and fry. Curse when they fall apart.
The result: better than the last ones. I added some grated cooked beetroot mixed with sour cream as a garnish to raise them up to party level, and that definitely added to the taste as well. I liked the cold beetroot with the hot latke. The Scientist's verdict, however: 'meh'. He has decided that latkes are 'a way of making potatoes less nice'. The Scientist loves potatoes, so this is a pretty final end to the latke endeavour! Still, they made a nice little offering for Stephanie's party, and given their Eastern European origins, I am serving them with little shots of schnapps.
My spellchecker on blogger has gone on strike. Spolgies for any bloopers (I really did type that wrong but liked it more that way)