I’m a shiksa (non-Jewish woman, for you other gentiles out there), Zak is Jewish. Meaning he was raised on latkes. His grandmother made them, his mother makes them, and he made sure to let me know that the first time I suggested making latkes. I think his close-to-exact words were, “Just so you know, you have a lot to live up to. My grandma and mom both make killer latkes. I’m not saying you can’t do it, but just … be aware.” Talk about a lot of pressure!
So, I decided to mix it up from the traditional latkes to give myself something of an edge. My mom had found a zucchini latke recipe to use up some of the copious zucchini from their garden, so I did some Googling of my own and adapted my own version from this recipe at Food Network. They turned out absolutely delicious. Zak had no complaints, which made me very happy. The latkes would make a delicious appetizer, too.
Pairing these with the soup was a good idea. The soup ended up VERY spicy, so the creaminess of the latkes and sour cream really helped cool it down. All in all, this was a fresh, summery, yummy and very healthy meal. Admittedly, it was a lot of work, but I had my favorite kitchen helper, Roo, to keep me company¹.
Chilled Avocado Corn Soup with Zucchini “Latkes”
Chilled Avocado Corn Soup:
Adapted from Gourmet, 2005
3 ears of corn, shucked
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped and divided
2 cups of chicken stock, frozen
2 cups water
1-2 tsp. lemon zest
Juice from 1 lemon
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 ripe avocado
Sour cream for serving
2-3 tbs. chopped cilantro, for serving
Preheat broiler and cover baking sheet with tinfoil. Spray with cooking spray and place shucked corn, jalapeño and cubanelle on baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and place in broiler. Broil, turning occasionally, roughly 15 minutes until the skins of peppers are charred and blistered. Remove the peppers from the baking sheet and place immediately in a plastic zip lock bag (the steam will make peeling the peppers much easier). Return corn to the broiler and broil additional 15 minutes until corn is browned and charred. Let corn and peppers cool.
Remove peppers from plastic bag and peel off outer layer of skins. Discard. Remove most of ribs and seeds from the peppers, depending on how spicy you would like your soup (I left about 1/4 of the seeds and it was SUPER spicy). Cut kernels off of the corn, reserving 1/2 cup of kernels for serving. Cut the corn cobs into thirds.
Bring corn kernels, cobs, 1/2 of chopped Vidalia onion (reserving the other half for serving), chicken stock, and water to a boil, covered. Reduce heat to a low simmer, remove cover and simmer until reduced by 1/3.
Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature uncovered. Remove corn cobs and discard (or save for additional stock making). In a food processor, puree mixture with peppers, lemon zest, juice from 1 lemon, and about 3/4 of the avocado (roughly 1/2 cup). Reserve the rest of the avocado in slices for serving.
Cool pureed mixture in the refrigerator until serving time.
Serve with reserved onion, corn, sour cream and cilantro.
Adapted from foodnetwork.com
3 cups zucchini, grated
1 medium white potato, grated
1/2 small Vidalia onion, chopped
2-3 tbs. flour
2-3 tbs. seasoned bread crumbs
Garlic salt to taste
Pepper to taste
3 tbs. vegetable oil
Sour cream, for serving
Mix zucchini, potato, and onion. Squeeze out extra moisture using cheese cloth or paper towels. Whisk together eggs and add to vegetable/potato mixture. Mix in flour, bread crumbs, pepper and garlic salt. Mix together well with your hands.
Heat a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil in a large sauté pan. Form zucchini, potato, egg and flour mixture into patties roughly 2 inches across and 3 inches long. Sauté roughly 5 minutes per side until golden brown, adding vegetable oil as necessary. Serve warm with sour cream.