Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sundays with Marlena Spieler-Cottage Cheese and Matzo Meal Latkes with Preserved Meyer Lemons

According to Jewish Cooking and Marlena, cheese latkes were once thought to be one of the most revered foods in Russia. We loved was a perfect snack to go with our movie today. The tang of the cottage cheese along with the diced preserved meyer lemons made this a very spring-like dish. I used some Greek-style yogurt with a touch of dill for a perfect dip. Zchug would be great with it as well..or even harissa.

Ingredients: makes about 20 small latkes

1 and 1/4 cups cottage cheese (2% is okay)
3 eggs, separated
1 tsp salt
2 cups matzo meal
3-5 spring some green for garnish
1/2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp plain yogurt or just water ( I used water)
vegetable oil for shallow frying
Ground black pepper..about 1/2 to 1 tsp.
1/2 tsp fresh or dried dill to put in yogurt if you use it.
1/4 preserved meyer lemon..dice the skin into very small pieces.

For dip, use plain greek-style yogurt, *zshug, or even *harissa (recipes to follow)

1. In bowl, mash the cottage cheese. Mix in the egg yolks only, add half the salt, all of the matzo meal, onion, yogurt or water, lemon dice and then the pepper. If it feels too wet, add a touch more matzo meal.

2. Whisk the egg whites until they make a peak...all white and frothy. Gently fold in 1/3 of the whites to the mixture...and then gently fold in the remainder of the egg whites.

3. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed skillet...about 1/4 inch deep. When a tiny piece of bread browns quickly, it is time to make the latkes. With a tsp, dip out a scoop of the mixture and put it in the pan. Smash down lightly. Cook until golden brown and then carefully turn over. Do the same on the other side. Drain on paper plate or paper towels and then put on serving plate. Don't over-crowd the frying pan.

Best served hot but you can keep them warm briefly in the oven until the others are done. You want them crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.

*Zchug--Yemenite Condiment



  1. Puree garlic and chiles in food processor, add water if needed.
  2. Add cilantro, then salt, pepper to taste and cumin.
  3. Remove mixture and set aside.
  4. Puree tomatoes in processor then combine the two mixtures


Ingredients:  serves 4 - 6

  • 10 dried red chili peppers
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 TB paprika
  • 1 cup veggie stock or pepper water
  • 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish


Soak the dried chilies in hot water for at least 30 minutes. When you drain, discard seeds and stems. Save water for processing or use veggie stock.

In a food processor combine chili peppers, garlic, salt, pepper water, olive oil. Blend together.

Add remaining spices and blend until a paste forms..add lemon juice last. Can drizzle olive oil on top and add cilantro for garnish if serving.

Store in airtight container. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top to keep fresh. Will keep for a month in the refrigerator. (we like the really HOT harissa)

I am fairly sure that Eileen over at Just the Two of Us is putting her last Jewish Cooking post up this Sunday...and am not sure if Shankari is finished yet. Go check it out. I have 4 more and will get those done within the next 10 days...and we shall celebrate some time this summer. Maybe Marlena will join us all once again! BTW, today in the SF Chronicle check out her Roving Feast article!!


Children's Dentist said...

What a wonderful recipe. I love Meyer lemons and I love preserved Meyer lemons too. Where I live we don't have easy access to fresh Meyer lemons, so what I do is just go online ( ) and order from growers that pick them right off the trees and ship them direct — a tip I learned from my cousin in Canada. This way I get fresh Meyer lemons picked from the tree without all the time sitting in cartons, trucks and warehouses. I like that I can also order preserved Meyer lemons there.

Melly/Melody/or Mel said...

I got my lemons straight off a meyer lemon tree, right here in Sacramento, CA! I preserved them.

I like The Lemon Ladies if you don't have access to fresh meyer lemons.

You'll love the latkes!

Melly/Melody/or Mel said...

Here is the link to The Lemon Ladies....Karen is a doll!

Sinful Southern Sweets said...

Great looking meal!! I've enjoyed browsing through your blog this afternoon. I will certainly be back soon!

Laura [What I Like] said...

Hi Mel, sorry I'm not great at directions...the link is up on my blog now!

Joanna Jenkins said...

My family LOVES latkes! I've never heard of them made with cottage cheese but will definitely try them out.

Thanks a million. I don't see many Jewish recipes online.