Saturday, November 7, 2015

Leftover Spaghetti Squash?

My wife makes a spaghetti squash dish about three times a month.  She always varies the toppings and it's always good.  One thing: there is always leftovers.  We have used the leftover squash as a pizza topping, cold on salads and the other day I wanted to come up with something different.  Then it hit me:  Why not make latkes and replace the potato with squash?  I did a web search and didn't find anything exactly like my idea, so I came up with this recipe.  I decided to incorporate a small amount of grated potato into the mixture in order to ensure a crispy crust.  After one [successful] attempt I am sure that you could omit the potato entirely, but I think I will leave it in.

Squaghetti Squash Latkes
        makes 6 cakes

2+ cups cooks cooked and "pulled" spaghetti squash
1 small russet potato grated on the largest hole (about 3/4 cups)
1 smallish medium onion, diced
1 Roma tomato, diced
1 tsp Mexican oregano
10 coriander seeds
10 caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, diced
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon panko bread crumbs
2 eggs

  1. Toss the squash and potato with some salt and place in a colander and place this into a bowl.  Place a few layers of folded paper towels on top and add a weight (like 2 or 3 stacked pint glasses).  Let sit for about 30 minutes.  The salt will pull water out and it will drain.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat in a medium frying pan. While heating crush oregano, seeds and pepper flakes using a mortar and pestle.  Add the diced garlic and set aside.
  3. Add the onion to the pan and cook for 6 minutes, until they start to brown.  Add the tomato and cook another 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the liquid from the tomatoes has mostly evaporated.
  4. Stir in the seed/herb mixture and cook for about 30 seconds.  Remove onion/herb mixture from pan and let cool.
  5. Take the squash/potato mixture from colander and place in large mixing bowl.  Stir in the cooled onion mixture, cornstarch, panko and season with salt and pepper.  
  6. Fold in the two eggs.
  7. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup form cakes from the mixture.  This should yield about six cakes.  Let cakes sit for about 12 minutes before cooking.
  8. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan, enough to coat, and add three cakes.  Cook, undisturbed, for about 4 minutes.  Shake the pan to loosen the cakes and cook another two minutes before flipping and cooking for an additional 6 minutes.  Place cooked cakes on a paper towel lined plate.  Cook the remaining cakes, adding oil as needed. 
Serve with a dollop of pesto and a side salad.

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