Happy Fifth Day of Chanukah! I hope that everyone who celebrates Chanukah is having a wonderful Holiday!
I must admit something to you. I love eating latkes, but I hate shredding the potatoes for making this classic Chanukah dish. It’s time-consuming. Every year, I end up mortally wounded from the box grater. The first night of Chanukah, I tried shredding the potatoes in both a food processor & with a box grater…the box grater method won, but at my fingers’ expense. The food processor method made the potatoes look more like mashed potatoes. Mashed Potatoes? Then, a light bulb went off in my head. Mashed Potatoes?
After a little deliberation & a little research, I decided that the second night of Chanukah would be Mashed Potato Latke Night…with both white & sweet potatoes! I figured that the worst thing would be is that the latkes would be a disaster & I wouldn’t end up with a blog. Oh well.
Mashed Potato Latkes turned out great! I cheated though, & bought Latke Starter from WIlliams-Sonoma..this stuff is incredible…it is a major timesaver, as the starter already has all the onions & seasoning in the mix…it is delicious! Just add your cooked potatoes, an egg & you are ready to fry! We served the latkes with smoked salmon & crème fraîche, sprinkled chopped cucumber & minced parsley, & served. Émilie devoured hers! There’s nothing better than a “thumbs-up” from a 12-year-old! If you’re a vegetarian, omit the salmon & add your favorite apple-something or grated Parmesan…amazing!
I had a little work to do with the Mashed Sweet Potato Latke recipe. I created a pretty tasty recipe, but I learned two things…the latke mixture was too loose & the latkes burned in the canola oil. Oy vey. I then went online to see if any other bloggers had any suggestions…thank you, Food Renegade, for saving my mashed sweet potato latkes! She enlightened me with the virtues of coconut oil, which I not even considered. What a great idea!
So, the next night….this is what’s so great about Chanukah…8 nights to experiment…I started over with my Mashed Sweet Potato Latkes. Since the flavor was good, I refrigerated the latke mixture overnight, which made a big difference in forming the latkes. I then used the coconut oil…all you need is about 2 heaping tablespoons & a nonstick frypan…& the latkes were great! Because I am a fanatic for the combination of cranberries & sweet potatoes, I made Cabernet Cranberry Sauce & served the two together…along with walnut pieces, turkey bacon, brown sugar crème fraîche & minced cilantro. OK, I know combining turkey bacon & crème fraîche is against the rules, but it’s soooo good!
To complete the menu, I created a salad to compliment the latkes. I combined raw brussel sprouts & baby kale, added pomegranate seeds, walnuts & a little Parmesan…doused the salad with a little pomegranate vinegar & walnut oil…mmm,mmm good! I served all three recipes together…the contrast in flavors were fun & amazing…it was like having Thanksgiving & Sunday morning lox & bagels together!
I bet you’re wondering about a nosh while the latkes are being prepared? I love serving Skinny Lemon-Tzatziki Dip with Toasted Pine Nuts with a bowl of pita chips & potato chips. It’s easy, can be made ahead, it’s light given that we’re about to eat fried food…I prefer not to think about about…there’s the gym in the morning. For dessert, I always buy doughnut holes & serve Warm Chocolate Dipping Sauce. One doughnut hole is enough for me, anyway, & I only have so much time, so store-bought doughnut holes worked well. Given the time-constraints we all have, a little timesaver is a blessing, especially this time of year!
Happy Chanukah…I hope you enjoy the remainder of your holiday! Please try these latke recipes, as well as the salad & send me your thoughts. Happy Holidays!