Romantic night in: A simple but special last-minute meal
Celebrate the Irish love affair with the potato but with an exotic twist
Latkes with smoked rainbow trout and crème fraîche
This year, Valentine’s Day will have a very different feel, as there is no clamouring to book restaurants or rushing to the shops for last-minute ingredients or cards. I wanted to create a recipe this week that could be rustled up last minute out of fairly everyday ingredients, but still be something special. There’s no greater love affair than that we have with the humble potato, so it is taking centre stage on the plate.
While we have potato farls and boxty here, there is a crunchier, more exotic alternative that’s not as heavy as it doesn’t contain mashed potato. Latkes are made with grated raw potato and contain egg, whereas rosti has no egg. I never compact the grated potato mix but rather pile a loose spoonful on to a hot pan and then flatten the centre, leaving the sides to sprawl out and crisp up in the sizzling oil.
The latke takes on a crispy, crunchy texture that pairs really well with buttery smoked fish. Smoked salmon is the obvious choice, but I love Goatsbridge smoked trout and it is so widely available. It has a more subtle, elegant smoked flavour than some smoked salmon. The sustainably farmed rainbow trout is caught daily, then smoked and packaged on site.
Served with a dollop of crème fraîche, this combination tastes so luxurious. We have excellent smoked fish here in Ireland and our dairy is famous all over the world. So this recipe is a beautiful representation of simple Irish ingredients brought together to create a truly delicious feast.
My kids love latke and love to see me make them. The little potato pancakes, traditionally served over the Jewish holiday Hanukkah with apple sauce and sour cream, can also have grated onion added to them. I like to serve a little raw red onion over mine for a burst of freshness that’s great with the fried potato. They do need to be cooked in batches but this can be done in advance. Reheat, in a single layer, on a tray in a hot oven for 10 minutes. They crisp up beautifully and are great with a fried egg.