By Alex Brown and Evan George
Sometimes kooky fusion combos are better, more soulful, when improvised on the spot rather than premeditated. This one was borne from us being too tired, lazy, brain-dead and starving on a weekday night to be pithy or political with our pairings.
Falatkes are, you guessed it, a cross between falafels and latkes. Shredded potato and zucchini are more vegetative in flavor than garbanzo beans, but toasted cumin just happens to make anything taste like pure falafel. Rather than mess with a condiment that embodied the already-weird pairing (like an apple-tzatziki sauce), we served these crispy critters on a bed of Israeli couscous with mixed greens and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses. But if you have the resources you could also pop ’em in a pita. Or a bagel? See, we always go too far.
2 small zucchini, washed and dried
2 small Idaho or russet potatoes, washed and dried
1/2 white onion, papery skins removed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon toasted cumin seeds
1/2 cup rye bread crumbs, ground fine (optional)
2 cups grapeseed oil (canola works)
1) Shred the zucchini, potatoes and onion with the finest side of a grater to achieve matchstick pieces of each, but keep the zucchini separate. Place grated zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with kosher salt. Let sit for about 5 minutes (this will bring out moisture and make the zuke super easy to compress).2) In a large mixing bowl, combine the potatoes, onion, zucchini and cumin. Add bread crumbs if desired for extra bulk—it’s not necessary, however, as the zucchini makes very workable patties as is.3) Form mixture into small patties and set on a plate.4) Heat frying oil in a small wok or medium-sized frying pan. Once very hot (drop a cumin seed in—it should immediately sizzle), fry 1 or 2 patties at a time. Pat dry and cool on paper towels before serving.
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