Saturday, August 11, 2012

Beet Latkes and Dill Creme Fraiche with Grilled Corn and Salmon Salad with Dill Butter

One thing that's definitely abundant this time of year is beets.  We've been getting them from our CSA in copious amounts, and I see them on the shelves at the grocery store in lots of beautiful, colorful varieties.  I happen to love these sweet, earthy root vegetables, but this meal is a great way to convince somebody who thinks they don't like beets (far too many people) that they can, in fact, enjoy eating them!  When mixed with potatoes and fried until crispy, they add an extra depth of flavor to latkes without being too over-powering.  I topped them off with a rich and flavorful dilled creme fraiche to make these simple root vegetable cakes into something special.

The salad makes a light, crunchy and delicious accompaniment to the latkes.  I grilled some rich Coho salmon and sweet Colorado corn together and mixed them with a generous helping of melted butter with lots of fresh dill.  The salad has even more fresh dill, parsley, and a hint of champagne vinegar to add a little tang.  For a lighter meal, the salad would be delicious on it's own, or perhaps with some grilled zucchini slices added.

Beet Latkes with Dill Creme Fraiche topping
makes 12-14

5 medium beets, grated (about 4 cups)
2 large yukon gold potatoes, grated (about 4 cups)
1/2 large yellow onion, grated
1/2 cup matzoh meal
2 eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper, to taste
vegetable oil

1 7.5 oz package creme fraiche (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup chopped dill
2 T whole milk
salt and pepper, to taste

Place a large cookie sheet in the oven and heat to 200 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix beets, potatoes, onion, matzoh and eggs until well combined.  In a large, shallow pan, add about 3 T oil over medium-high heat.  Form beet mixture into patties by hand and place in hot oil.  Fry until each side is crispy and golden-brown, about 5 minutes per side, adding a splash more oil if the pan gets dry.  Once cooked, allow latkes to drain on a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.  Place on the baking sheet in the oven while you fry the rest of the latkes and keep warm until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, make topping.  Combine ingredients in a small bowl and mix until combined.  Serve latkes hot with a dollop of the topping.

Grilled Corn and Salmon Salad with Dill Butter
serves 4

1 lb. salmon 
2 T olive oil
4 ears of corn, shucked and washed
3 T salted butter, melted
1/4 cup dill, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 head leaf lettuce, washed and chopped
1 T champagne vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat grill to medium-high.  Drizzle salmon and corn with olive oil.  Place salmon on grill, skin side-down.  Arrange corn on grill.  Cover grill and cook salmon for about 10-12 minutes, flipping over after about 5-6 minutes or until the skin becomes crispy.  Grill corn until lightly charred on both sides, about 7-9 minutes per side.  Remove salmon and corn from grill and season with salt and pepper.  Allow to cool, slightly, then cut corn kernels from cob.  In a medium bowl, flake salmon meat into bite-sized pieces and add corn kernels.  In a small bowl, whisk the melted butter with 2 T of the chopped dill and drizzle over the salmon and corn.  Mix well to combine. 

In a large bowl, combine remaining dill, parsley, chopped lettuce, and vinegar and toss well to combine.  Add half of the salmon and corn mixture and toss again.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Dish out the salad servings and top each with more of the salmon and corn mixture.  Serve salad on its own or alongside Beet Latkes.

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