Monday, December 05, 2011

One-Potato, Two-Potato Latkes

I'm not Jewish, but on this "getting-close-to-Hanukkah" night, I thought I'd post another easy, yummy recipe my kids LOVE (and a great way to add a few veggies to their diet) and one that is rather traditional in many households at this time of year. I originally got this idea from a sweet-potato latke recipe, (we usually call them "Sweet-Potato Pancakes" around here) but found I liked adding other potatoes as well, and the recipe morphed into this.

If you're going to enjoy these, you're also going to be subjected to my short history of Hannukah, (don't roll your eyes) I'm a geek that way.
At least this is the 'history' as I know it to be. Different families have slightly different version. Let your eyes glaze over and skip the next paragraphs 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 a whole lot more (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 Tbsp. vital wheat gluten flour (optional but helps them hold together nicely)
  • 1/4 cup Matzoh meal (you can be all non-traditional and instead use 1 additional Tbsp. gluten flour, flax seed meal or some besan/garbanzo flour)
  • 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.


    Last week's winner of the lovely Libre Tea glass, by random drawing, is "Della" of the "Kitchen Aided" blog. Congrats! 

    Paulina said...

    Yum! I've never attempted to make latkes before, because they seem so complicated. But I like how yours don't call for lots of ingredients.

    ~Paulina @

    Sarah in Indiana said...

    Mmmm. I love latkes. Jews have some wonderful food traditions. I've tried them with a mix of root vegetables before. We're in the ”tastes like dirt” camp when it comes to beets at my house, but we liked them in latkes :)

    AikoVenus said...

    These look delicious - instead of sweet potatoes, we use carrots and beets for our latkes, and we bake them a lot too. ^^ I can't wait to try your idea or possibly a combo!