Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sweet-and-White Potato Latkes

I'm not Jewish, but on this "almost-Hanukkah" night, I thought I'd post yet another easy, yummy recipe my kids LOVE (and a great way to add a few veggies to their diet). I originally got this idea from a sweet-potato latke recipe, but they're usually just called "Sweet-potato Pancakes" around here, it's O.K. - they're essentially the same thing.

Now, don't start rolling your eyes, if you're going to enjoy these, you're also going to be subjected to my short history of Hannukah, because I'm a geek that way - (at least 'history' as I know it to be. Different families have slightly different versions) Let your eyes glaze over if you're not into trivia, history and winning at arm-chair Jeopardy:

Hanukkah is an 8-day holiday celebrated in December. The dates differ somewhat every year. This holiday commemorates the victory of the Maccabees, a Jewish rebel army, over the Syrians in 165 B.C.E., as well as the subsequent rededication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem. When Jews came to rededicate the Temple-which had been defiled by those nasty Syrians-they found only one small flask of oil with which to light their menorah. This flask contained only enough oil for one day, yet the lamp miraculously burned for eight days (by which time a fresh supply of oil was obtained). Present-day traditions include lighting the menorah, exchanging gifts and enjoying treats cooked in oil. Oil is a staple of the holiday, it is said, because it commemorates the miracle of the oil burning for eight days. Hopefully no one actually BURNS any oil making these...

In this recipe, if you want to be all traditional-like, use all white potatoes, or mix is up (like I often do!) with colorful shredded winter squash, parsnips, carrots, even some beets! Yummy with applesauce or vegan sour cream or cashew cream.

Sweet-and-White Potato Latkes

  • 3/4 lb. sweet potatoes and
  • 3/4 lb. Russet potatoes (or any combination of 1 1/2 lbs. other hard root/winter veggies)
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced (try and use fresh, it's so much better!)
  • 1/4 cup Matzoh meal
  • 2 Tbsp. vital wheat gluten flour (optional but helps them hold together nicely)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Coconut oil, for frying (this works the best, but use another oil if you don't want the faint coconut flavor)

  • Peel and grate potatoes, then place in a colander and set over a large bowl. Rinse (but don't let shreds rinse out of the colander and down the drain, like I did once...)
  • Using your hands, squeeze out the excess liquid from the potatoes. Pour off the liquid and place potatoes in the bowl.
  • Grate the onion and add to the potatoes along with the parsley, Matzo meal, vital wheat gluten, baking powder, salt, and pepper, and mix well.
  • Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  • Heat a thin layer of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Take a heaping tablespoon of batter and gently place it in the hot oil, spreading and flattening as you go.
  • Make three or four more potato pancakes this way, and add to skillet (without crowding pan). Cover with a spatter-guard or a lid.
  • Fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once, about 8 minutes total.
  • Repeat with remaining potato mixture, adding more oil as necessary. Remove the cooked potato pancakes to paper towels to drain, then transfer to an ovenproof platter and keep warm in the oven until all pancakes are cooked.

    Carrie said...

    I've never had a latke - they look so delicious!

    bespatter said...

    Just dropped by to say I really enjoy your blog, I've been following it for awhile, but I finally remembered to say 'Hi!".

    I'm gonna have to cook me up some of this stuff for sure!

    T said...

    YES YES YES, just what I needed for the holidays! Muchos Gracias!

    C said...

    Hi, I'm a longtime lurker on your blog. Today I tried your recipe for lentil loaf, and it was a huge hit! The mixture was a little too moist I guess, as it was a bit mushy in the middle (but it still tasted wonderful). But now I know to add more bread crumbs next time! I'm looking forward to having leftovers in a sandwich! :-)
    I'm going to include a pic of the loaf in my blog in the next few days, and of course a link to your fabulous recipe (the blog is in German).