Tomato tomahto potato potahto casserole. Easy as pie if you have:
2 medium potatoes (red or gold, probably – sliced thin)
1 large onion (sliced thin)
tomato sauce (homemade is always best!)
mozzarella cheese (shredded/grated)
pecorino romano cheese
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease the inside of a casserole dish with a little olive oil and then just layer in the potato, onion, sauce, and mozzarella. Somewhere in each tier, sprinkle in a modest amount of salt and pepper. I was only able to fit two layers of each into our little dish before running out of both room and ingredients, but that was fine. Top with some more sauce if it wasn’t already your top layer and cook covered for 45 minutes or so, allowing the potatoes to become very tender. Then add one more layer of mozzarella, grate some pecorino on top, and maybe grind some fresh pepper on there as well. Cook uncovered for another 5 minutes or so. You could also stick in under the broiler for a minute or two to really toast the top layer of cheese.
Another idea might be to use slices of fresh tomato instead of the sauce. Except maybe on top.
Continuing on with the latke theme, we made a batch of potato turnip fritter/pancakes the other night. We basically used this recipe, but with onion instead of scallions and with some carrots added in for color. In order not to load ourselves down too heavily with oil, we just fried a few of them through and through, the rest got a very light frying in very little oil and were then baked until fully cooked.
Tina and I were both out of state last weekend (though in different states) – thus the lack of posting. I was in Oklahoma visiting with some friends and their new baby. While we were there, we had these terrific veggie pancakes for breakfast. The method is pretty similar to the latke recipe we posted during Hannukah, but rather than just potato an onion, this one also included shredded zucchini and carrot, and required a bit more flour (about 1/4 cup as I recall). We also left the shredded veggies to sit a while and then pressed out the liquid to make them hold together better. Much like out latkes, these pancakes were thoroughly fried – though this time in peanut oil, which was tasty.
We have some family and friends over for dinner on Wednesday – the first night of Hannukah. Among several other dishes, we made the traditional potato pancakes. The recipe was nothing special – grated potato, a bit of grated onion, egg, a few Tbsp of flour to bind, plus salt and pepper.
However, there was one thing that made these latkes particularly delicious this time around, and you tell what it was from the glistening, golden-brownitude above. Rather than mincing about with any lightly oiled cooking surface or sautee/bake hybrid process, we threw health concerns to to the wind straight up fried these fellas in a good quarter-inch of canola oil. Just call it 8 days worth of fat consumption.
To balance out, however, Tina did make some baked doughnuts that were delicious, despite undermining the very foundation of this holiday’s cuisine. Maybe she’ll post about them later.
Playing with the idea of a “steakhouse” dinner with the bounty from Chinatown, we made some mashed Japanese sweet potatoes, smoked tofu “steaks” and a side of greens (in this case, not spinach, but bok choy). Delicious! Japanese sweet potatoes are definitely sweeter than the usual yams and almost taste like chestnuts. I’m very excited to try using them in a sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving.