Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tasty Sides: Sweet Potato Latkes

I didn't celebrate Hanukkah until I met the hubby and even then it was more of a hey! Let's go eat some latkes sort of affair. Of course, as a convent school girl from Virginia, I hadn't eaten latkes before and let me tell you, it's a crying shame it took me 22 years to try them. Of course, my sister in law is Belarussian and she use to make potato pancakes, which are incredible, but they aren't latkes. They're in their own category and I plan on begging for the recipe soon.

...but back to the latkes. So, my first bite of crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside - sounds kinda like a cookie - salty, potato, onion goodness with a dollop of sour cream and applesauce was a lifechanging experience for me. How could the potato eating Irish not have come up with some sort of equivalent? If they did, then my grandmother certainly played dumb.

This past Hanukkah, we threw a party and then went to a party and then dinnertime came on Hanukkah Sunday and I was dying for some latkes. The hubby and I called every restaurant within walking distance to ask if they had latkes on the menu. We damn near got on the subway to go down to the East Village to Veselka's - no small feat from the Upper West Side - for the real deal, but alas we settled on Vietnamese take out.

Weeks passed and I continued to crave latkes and think about them and eat them in my dreams. I couldn't take it anymore and then night before Christmas Eve right around dinner time I declared I wouldn't be satisfied without a latke for dinner. We didn't have any potatoes or even parsnips or celery root, but my heroic husband did happen to find a large sweet potato languishing in the fridge. He said he'd make sweet potato latkes.

Mind you, I can't remember the last time the hubby cooked anything so I was dubious, but he set to work with a little of this and a little of this and an Oh, Sweetie, would you get me the last of that goat cheese in the fridge? And what came out of his frying pan is now my new favorite thing. We've had sweet potato latkes twice now since Christmas. They were a little chewy, a little crunchy with that lovely sweet potato brown sugar caramel and the hint of goat cheese was creamy and wonderful. Try it out!

Sweet Potato Latkes
(If you've never had a latke or if you eat latkes every single day, you'll think you've died and gone to potato heaven. These are great with smoked salmon or as a side to almost any meal - Pork Chops with Apples and Sage anyone?)

What You'll Need:
1 large sweet potato grated on the largest setting of your box grater
1 medium onion chopped
1 large egg
1/8 to 1/4 cup flour (we always use white whole wheat)
2-3 tbsp chevre - the really soft and creamy goat cheese

Set a large frying pan over a high heat and add enough olive oil to generously coat the bottom. Set a large mixing bowl out and add all of the ingredients. Mix together thoroughly.

When the oil is shimmering in the pan, take a small handful of the latke mixture and press it pretty tightly between your palms; gently place it in the pan. Repeat until the pan is filled, but not overcrowded. Cook until the latkes are nice and brown and then flip. It should be about ten minutes per side. If the latkes are browning too quickly or, of course, burning then turn down the flame a bit. Once the latkes are done, set them on a paper towel covered plate.

To serve, we like to eat our latkes with applesauce and plain yogurt. Any kind of tangy fruit compote would go beautifully with these latkes.

Approximate Dinner Cost:
Groceries: $4
Cost per Meal: Serves two to three plus a hungry toddler:)

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  1. oh wow these look great with sweet potato your right about walking in NYC love your city
    Happy New Year

    love Rebecca

  2. Thanks so much, Rebecca!! Happy New Year to you too!

    And to everyone, Happy New Year!!

  3. I just posted a sweet potato recipe too! I can't get enough. I love them! Great recipe here!

  4. Oh, my, you've got me with this one. I do not like latkes because I really don't like potatoes much...even though I used to make them all the time when my children were little. But sweet potatoes and goat cheese? That's a whole different latke... a must-have latke.

  5. I am and always will be a fan of New York. I've made "regular" latkes but never from sweet potatoes, what a refreshing change. I will give these a try!

  6. Maria, your recipe looks really tasty!!

    Sheryl, I think these will rock your world if your anti white potatoes. Let me know if you try them out!

    Cristie, thanks for visiting and please let you know what you think!

  7. I've tried these before and they ended up a greasy mess. Hopefully, with your instructions, I can make tasty ones. Thanks for passing this along and happy New Year.

  8. I have never had sweet potato latkes and now I must try them. I am a big latke fan

  9. Well you can't argue with the price (just $4!?) and those sure do look delish.

  10. Readymom and Marthaandme, let me know how this recipe works for you!

    Alisa, $4 sounds crazy right, but it's a peasant dish really and the peasants knew how to pinch a penny! The goat cheese though, that adds a $1 itself:)

  11. I love love latkes, though we usually only make them once a year. I've never tried them with all sweet potato though. I'm excited to make them! This is a timely post as I'm figuring out dinners for the next couple of days. THANK YOU!

  12. Jennifer, let me know what you think!

    Oh, and a reader named Lauren tried the porks chops and apples with lamb and said it was great!!

  13. These sound wonderful - a nice, gourmet twist on a traditional latke recipe.

  14. love latkes, love sweet potatoes. gotta try these -- and soon.

  15. My husband made these tonight. They were delicious! But, how do you keep the shape and crispiness?

  16. Thomson - Hmm, the shape is all about pressing the latke mixture flat and very tightly between your palms before placing them in the pan. We tried a light touch once and found they were a bit caky and not as crisp. So, pressing them together makes the latkes thinner and wider and will help them hold their shape ensuring a nice crispiness all around. I hope this helps!!



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