Posts Tagged ‘Latkes’

Latkes and Beyond!

Monday, December 14th, 2009
Samosa Latkes

A Samosa Latke

 
Once a year or so (usually at Hanukkah, of course!) my family loves latkes. We don’t fry a lot of food, but when a holiday is all about oil one has to indulge in a little frying.
 
We usually make the traditional latkes I chronicled in a post last year at this time. This year I thought we’d try something a little different. We actually made TWO new kinds of latkes.
 
One version, which I’ll detail in a future post (making and eating latkes can really wear a girl out), was made with sweet potatoes. We called these Yam-e-kes.
 
I got the idea for the second version from Chef Jamie Geller of Kosher.com. I had been toying with the idea of making samosas, my favorite potato-based Indian turnovers, for some time. Jamie came up with the idea of putting samosa spices into a latke.
 
Since “Sam-e-kes” sounds a little awkward I’m just using Jamie’s terminology and calling these Samosa Latkes. They represent a wonderful pairing of two cuisines I adore.
 
If you’d like to see Jamie’s version of these latkes, please visit Kosher.com’s recipes for Hanukkah (she offers other great ideas as well!). You’ll note that she has produced a relatively low-fat latke. Since we only make them once a year we kept the fat.
 
I should warn you that my nephew Michael doesn’t believe that EITHER of our experiments actually qualifies as a latke. Whatever they are, they’re pretty tasty.
 
One note: these are not particularly spicy Sam-e-kes, only flavorful ones. If you’d like more spice, feel free to add more to taste.
 
Happy Hanukkah!
 
Samosa Latkes
 
Ingredients:
 
2 large baking potatoes
1 large onion, more or less finely chopped
2 eggs, beaten
6 tablespoons flour or matzo meal (plus a little more if you need it)
2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger root
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon hot curry powder
2 cups peas, barely cooked
extra-virgin olive oil as needed for frying
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
 
Instructions:
 
Wash the potatoes well and peel them if you want to (the skins are nutritious so you don’t have to). Grate them. This takes a really long time with a box grater so I prefer to use the grater attachment of a food processor.
 
(Do not use the main blade of a food processor as it will make the potato pieces small and wet.)
 
Wrap the potato shreds in a clean dishtowel. Carry it to the sink, and wring out as much liquid as you can. Leave the wrapped shreds in the sink to drain while you prepare the rest of the ingredients (and maybe have a cocktail or two).
 
In a medium bowl, combine the potato pieces, onion, eggs, flour, ginger, salt, and spices. Stir in the peas. In a large frying pan, heat a few tablespoons of oil until the oil begins to shimmer.
 
Scoop some of the potato mixture out of the bowl with a soup spoon, and flatten it with your hand. Pop the flattened potato into the hot oil. It should hiss and bubble a bit; if not, wait before you put more pancakes into the oil.
 
It’s just fine if your latkes are a little ragged around the edges. If they don’t hold together and are hard to turn, however, you may want to add a little more flour to your batter.
 
Fry the potato cakes a few at a time, turning each when the first side becomes golden. Drain the cooked latkes on paper towels; then pop them into a 250-degree oven to stay warm until their cousins are finished cooking.
 
When you run out of batter (or feel you have enough for your family!), sprinkle the chopped cilantro over your latkes, light the menorah, and eat. Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish.
 
 
Michael loves to light the Hanukkah candles.

Michael loves to light the Hanukkah candles.

 

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 Latkes on Foodista

The Festival of Lights (and Latkes!)

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008
Chic Cousin Jane Shows Off the Latkes

Chic Cousin Jane Shows Off the Latkes

Sunday evening my family celebrated the first night of Hanukkah. Our cousins Jane and Alan joined us for a laughter-filled evening, and we made latkes, something we do only once a year. (They’re too fattening and too special to make more often.)

Because we make them so rarely I have to recalibrate my potato pancakes each time I make them. The recipe that appears below is therefore a little vague. Adjust your latkes as you need to; I always do!

It’s traditional to use vegetable oil in these cakes, but I love the flavor that good olive oil imparts. The oil should, after all, star since Hanukkah celebrates oil that burned for eight days and eight nights more than 2000 years ago.

You may ask why I’m mentioning both Christmas cookies and Hanukkah pancakes on this blog. I was brought up doing a little bit of everything by my Jewish father and Unitarian mother. Even if I weren’t a religious mutt, I think I’d probably want to make foods for many different holidays. I love learning about different culinary traditions–and I embrace any excuse for food, fun, family, and friends.

Once a Year Latkes

Ingredients:
2 large baking potatoes

1 large onion, more or less finely chopped

1 egg, beaten (you may use another if you really need it)

2 to 4 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

freshly ground pepper to taste (we like lots)

extra-virgin olive oil as needed for frying

Instructions:

          Wash the potatoes well and peel them if you want to (the skins are nutritious so don’t feel you have to). Grate them. This takes a really long time with a box grater so we prefer to use the grater attachment of our food processor. We only get it out for latkes, and we never quite remember how it works, but luckily my sister-in-law Leigh kept the instruction book. Even more luckily, Sunday night Cousin Alan remembered how it works!

          Do not use the main blade of the food processor as it will make the potato pieces small and wet.

          Wrap the potato shreds in a clean dishtowel. Carry it to the sink, and wring out as much liquid as you can. Leave the wrapped shreds in the sink to drain while you prepare the rest of the ingredients (and maybe have a cocktail or two).

          In a medium bowl, combine the potato pieces, onion, egg, 2 tablespoons flour, salt, and pepper. In a large frying pan, heat a few tablespoons of oil until the oil begins to shimmer. Scoop some of the potato mixture out of the bowl with a soup spoon, and flatten it with your hand. Pop the flattened potato into the hot oil. It should hiss and bubble a bit; if not, wait before you put more pancakes into the oil.

          It’s just fine if your latkes are a little ragged around the edges; the potatoes are the main event, after all, and you don’t want them too homogenized. If they don’t hold together and are hard to turn, however, you may want to add a little more flour and even another egg to your batter.

         Fry the potato cakes a few at a time, turning each when the first side gets golden. Drain the cooked latkes on paper towels; then pop them into a 250-degree oven to stay warm until their cousins are finished cooking. When you run out of batter (or feel you have enough for your family!), light the menorah and serve the latkes. Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish.

Michael and Cousin Alan Light the Menorah

Michael and Cousin Alan Light the Menorah

 Here are a few more photos of our evening:

At the Food Processor

At the Food Processor

Sister Leigh at the Stove

Sister Leigh at the Stove

latkes-on-tray-web3

Happy Hanukkah!

Happy Hanukkah!