In our house we celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. And with Hanukkah quickly approaching, there is much discussion on what type of Latkes we will be eating. Everyone has a preference and no fear of expressing what their favorites are. So what happens is that we wind up having almost 8 different types of Latkes. My 4 year old says that's okay because it just means one type for each night. I, on the other hand, would rather not be frying food for my family for 8 nights.
That said, for those of you who may feel so inclined to try out some latke recipes, here are a few of our family favorite recipes and/or variations:
Traditional Potato Latke
2 cups peeled and shredded potatoes ( I prefer to use red potatoes, but you can use any type of potato that you like)
1 tablespoon grated onion (Himself prefers more onion, so instead of using grated onion, I finely chop a whole onion)
3 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (If your mixture is too watery or loose, simply add more flour as needed)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
oil for frying (I prefer peanut oil, but you can use any type of oil you like -- olive oil doesn't work the best however so don't use that)
place the potatoes in a cheesecloth and wring, extracting as much moisture as possible.
In a medium bowl stir the potatoes, onion, eggs, flour and salt together.
In a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot. Place large spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the hot oil, pressing down on them to form 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick patties. Brown on one side, turn and brown on the other. Let drain on paper towels. Serve hot!
**note** we serve ours with both apple sauce and sour cream on the side for those who may want either with their latkes.
Sweet Potato Latkes
4 large sweet potato, peeled and grated
2 onion, grated
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons oil, or more if needed
2 teaspoons salt
plain nonfat yogurt
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
Fill a bowl with lightly-salted water. Rinse the grated sweet potato in the water, and drain into a sieve. Pat the grated sweet potato dry with a cloth or paper towels, then place into a bowl. Squeeze excess moisture from the grated onion, and place into the bowl with the sweet potato. Stir the eggs and pepper into the mixture until well combined.
Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, and spoon about 1 heaping tablespoon of the potato mixture per patty into the hot oil. Flatten the patties with a fork, and fry until golden brown and crisp on the bottom, 5 to 8 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side, sprinkle with salt, then set the cooked patties aside on the prepared baking sheet in the preheated oven while you finish cooking the latkes.
Stir the potato mixture before cooking each batch of patties.
**Note** we serve these with hot with applesauce and yogurt.
Some variations that we like to our traditional potato latkes are to grate in some carrot, and celery.
Another of our variations is to grate in zucchini and yellow squash. If you choose to do this with the squash, you will need to definitely add more flour to keep things together as the squash retains a lot of water.
Another variation is to grate in apple with your sweet potato latke mixture. That gives it a bit of sweet and savory all in one. This is my youngest daughters favorite type to eat. We sometimes make those and serve them for breakfast. I also add some cinnamon to this mixture.
And lastly the latest variation we have tried is to grate potato, zucchini, carrot, onion, and eggplant all together. We season this mixture with garlic, salt, pepper, and some hot sauce into the mixture of egg and flour. These are served with creme fraiche in our house.
No matter what way you do your latkes this holiday season, may you share many memories, and good times. Happy Hanukkah.