LOTS OF LATKES! OU PRESENTS DELICIOUS CHANUKAH RECIPES FROM EILEEN GOLTZ
Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer who was born and raised in the Chicago area. She graduated from Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She lectures on various food-related topics across the U.S. and Canada and writes weekly columns for the Chicago Jewish News, kosher.com and the OU Shabbat Shalom Website. She is the author of the Perfectly Pareve Cookbook (Feldheim) and is a contributing writer for the Chicken Soup for the Soul Book Group, Chicago Sun Times, Detroit Free Press and Woman’s World Magazine.
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Consider the latke (Chanukah’s version of fast food). It is, in my opinion, the absolute best-est, most perfect, delicious use for the potatoes, better even, in some circumstances, than the French fry, potato chip or potato kugel. The latke has a dark golden crispy crunchy outside and soft tasty middle.
I suggest that you use starchy potatoes for latkes. Russets and Yukon Gold are my favorite choices. Squeeze as much moisture out of the shredded potatoes as you can. Too much liquid makes for a thin pancake. Try not to make them too large or too thick—the outside will cook up just fine but the inside will be raw. Take care not to overcook and they are best served IMMEDIATELY with sour cream, apple sauce or all by themselves. Last but not least, the question of peeling the potato. You don’t have to peel them if you wash them thoroughly. Peeling will give the latke a lighter color but that’s about it.
When it comes to latkes there is a great big old debate as to what exactly is the “best” recipe. There are hundreds, nay thousands of recipes, all purported to be the ultimate one. Not all the following recipes are the traditional potato/egg mixture but I promise you, all of them will have you standing in line waiting for the next batch to finish cooking.
SILVER DOLLAR LATKE (pareve)
You can make silver dollar sized latkes by using a tablespoon.
3 green onions, thinly sliced
4 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and shredded
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs together. In another colander combine the grated potatoes and onion. Let sit for a few minutes and then push down on the mixture to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Add the potatoes to the beaten eggs and mix to combine. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper and mix to combine. In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil. Place 1 tablespoon of the potato mixture into the hot oil to see if it’s ready. It should start sizzling and brown up quickly. If ready spoon, about 1 or 2 tablespoon per pancake depending on the size you want and leave a little room between the pancakes. Flatten the pancake with the back of a spoon and use the spoon to keep the sides round. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Serves 6.
CAULIFLOWER AND CHEESE LATKES (dairy)
2 heads cauliflower
4 large eggs
1 cup Pepper Jack cheese, grated
1 cup cracker or toasted bread crumbs
Salt to taste
Oil for frying
Cut the cauliflower into small pieces and cook them in boiling water until they are just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well, cool for 5 minutes and then place it in a bowl and mash it as you would potatoes, making sure to leave a few smaller pieces for texture. Add the cheese, crackers and salt and pepper. Pour about 1/4 inch of oil in the bottom of a pan and heat it to medium high. Form the mixture into 2 to 3 inch patties and fry them. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side making sure they don’t burn. Makes 12 to 14 depending on the size.
BROWN RICE AND PEPPER LATKES (dairy)
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 large eggs, separated
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/4 cup red pepper, diced
4 green onions, sliced thin
In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Mix to combine. Add the milk butter and whisk to combine. Stir in the egg yolks and whisk until blended.
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites, rice, red pepper and green onions into the flour mixture. Grease a griddle and heat it until hot. Spoon about 2 or 3 tablespoons of the mixture onto the griddle for each latke. Let the latke bubble and when the bottom is golden flip it over.
Pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto a hot, lightly greased griddle. Cook the pancakes 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Makes 10 to 12, depending on the size.
BROWN SUGAR AND SWEET POTATO LATKES (pareve)
4 cooked sweet potatoes, cooled and shredded
2 tablespoon vanilla or maple syrup
2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
Oil, for frying
Sour cream, optional
Toasted pecans, optional
In a bowl combine the shredded sweet potatoes, egg, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, potato flour and brown sugar. Mix to combine. Coat the bottom of a skillet with 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil. With your hands shape the mixture into 2 to 3 in inch patties. Cook in the heated oil until the latke is brown on both sides. Add more oil as needed. Drain on a paper towel and serve immediately. Top with sour cream and pecans. Makes 10 to 12.
ZUCCHINI LATKES (dairy)
2 lb zucchini, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup onion, grated
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
4 eggs (1/4 cup)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons fresh basil or dill or 2 teaspoons dried
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
3/4 cup flour
2 tablespoon baking powder
Oil for frying
Grate zucchini using medium-fine grating disk of food processor or hand grater. Place zucchini in colander and sprinkle with salt. Let set 1 hour. Gently press out as much moisture as possible. Add grated onion and chopped pepper. Mix gently but thoroughly.
Place the zucchini and onions in a bowl. In another bowl whisk together the eggs, Parmesan cheese, milk, basil, Tabasco, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Mix until combined. Add the zucchini mixture to the egg mixture. Mix to combine. Add the flour and baking powder and mix to combine (you may need to add a little water if the mixture is too thick).
Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons oil in a skillet. When the oil is hot, spoon 2 or 3 tablespoons of the zucchini mixture for each latke into the pan. Press the top of each latke down slightly with a spoon. Don’t make them too large or too thick. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels and serve hot Serves 4 to 6.
Modified from cooks.com
CORN LATKES WITH SMOKED SALMON (dairy)
This recipe is slightly modified from the Joachim Spichal’s Patina Restaurant original and they are wonderful!
3 cups corn, fresh off the cob or if frozen, thawed
3 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 tablespoons minced onions
1 cup whipping cream
2/3 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons minced green onions
15 to 20 pieces of lox
SOUR CREAM-CHIVE SAUCE
1 cup sour cream
1 red bell pepper, roasted and diced
1 tablespoon minced green onions
In a bowl combine the sour cream, bell pepper and green onion. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Heat 2 tablespoons butter in skillet and sauté the onions until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the corn and whipping cream, and cook over low heat 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes. Place the mixture in a food process and puree, and then set it aside.
In a bowl whisk together the milk and eggs and set it aside. In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix to combine. Melt 1 tablespoon butter and whisk it into the milk mixture. Then add the flour mixture, corn puree and green onions together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Melt a little butter in a skillet. Pour 1 heaping tablespoon batter for each latke and cook until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Add more butter to the skillet, if needed for each batch of latkes. Place a dollop of sauce on top of each latke and then top with a small piece of lox. Makes 15 to 20.