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Photo by: Squire Fox
Every year, we host a big Hanukkah party for a couple of dozen friends, serving up four or five different kinds of latkes (potato pancakes) at a time. These sweeter latkes, accented with the oniony bite of shallots, are always the first to go. And here’s a time-saving bonus: Because sweet potatoes contain less water than regular baking potatoes, you can grate them in the food processor without worrying about their releasing too much liquid.
1. Using the coarse side of a box grater or a food processor fitted with a medium grating disk, grate the potatoes, apples and shallots. Toss together in a large bowl. Add the eggs, matzo meal, salt, and pepper and toss to mix well.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Pour ¾ inch of oil into a skillet over medium-high heat. When the temperature reaches 370°F, scoop ¼ cup potato mixture from the bowl, then gently drop that mixture out onto a wide spatula (the point here is to keep your hands as clean as possible). Press into a patty about 1/3 inch thick with your hand, then gently slide the pancake into hot oil. Cook three or four pancakes at a time (do not crowd the pan) until the edges are crispy and well browned and the undersides are golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Gently turn and cook until the other sides are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes longer.
3. Transfer the pancakes to paper towels to drain briefly, then arrange in a single layer on baking sheets and keep warm in the oven while you cook the remaining pancakes. Serve hot, with sour cream and applesauce.
Keep the oil at about 370°F while frying to prevent latkes from turning greasy. Check the heat with a candy thermometer (most quick-read thermometers don’t go high enough) and adjust accordingly.
Make-Ahead Tip: If making ahead, cool the latkes to room temperature, then freeze in zip-top bags. Re-crisp in a 325°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
Apple Notes: I like a green, firm-tart apple here. Rhode Island Greening and Granny Smith would both make excellent choices.
Calville Blanc d’Hiver
Rhode Island Greening
Nutrients per serving (% daily value)
Nutritional information is based on a serving size of 1 latke, 1 cup vegetable oil for frying and does not include Garnishes.
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