I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!
Last week, I shared Part One of a two-part recipe – Tal Ronnen’s Sweet Potato Latkes with Spiked Applesauce (from his new book, Crossroads, published by Artisan Books). If you missed it, check out the recipe for Spiked Applesauce – it’s great on its own, and can be made in advance to serve with the Sweet Potato Latkes.
In the book Crossroads, you will find Sweet Potato Latkes with Spiked Applesauce under “Small Plates” – but it makes a really lovely brunch dish. It’s also very comforting as a main dish on a winter’s evening, with a small spinach salad on the side. And, of course, what would Hanukkah be with potato latkes? (FYI, Hanukkah begins the evening of December 6 this year.)
This recipe is a little more advanced than the other Tal Ronnen recipes I’ve shared, but his trademark detailed instruction makes this very do-able. (Trust me; as the daughter of a Southern minister I certainly did not grow up making potato latkes!) See my tester’s notes at the end of the recipe for more helpful advice.
Tal writes: “Latkes are found on every Hanukkah holiday table. These irresistible potato pancakes are made the same way my mother makes them, but without the eggs. I added sweet potatoes for color and a touch of sweetness. If you want lacy latkes with rough, crispy edges, you need to shred the potatoes into long strands. A food processor with a large shredding blade will make this go faster, but an old-fashioned box grater will perform the job just as well.”
Recipe is copyright 2015 and used with gracious permission from the publisher.
Ingredients for Sweet Potato Latkes
1 Tablespoon Ener-G Powdered Egg Replacer
1 Cup Filtered Water
1/2 Cup Ground Chia Seeds
2 Sweet Potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled
1 Russet (Baking) Potato
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
2 Tablespoons Rice Flour
10 fresh Chives, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
Expeller-pressed Canola Oil, for frying
Directions for Sweet Potato Latkes
Preheat the oven to 250. Put a wire rack on a baking sheet and place in the oven.
Whisk the egg replacer, water, and ground chia seeds in a bowl until they have the consistency of beaten eggs. Set aside.
Using the large shredding blade of a food processor, shred the onion into long, thin ribbons. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Shred the sweet potatoes and russet potato in the food processor and add to the bowl. Toss the potatoes with the onions as you go to keep them from discoloring. (If you do not have a food processor with a large shredding blade, use the large holes of a box grater, grating down the length of the onion and potatoes to get long strands.)
Wrap the shredded potatoes and onion in a large square of cheesecloth or a dish towel and twist it tightly to wring out the excess liquid. Put the potatoes and onion in a clean bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Fold in the egg replacement mixture, along with the flour and chives, to bind the mixture together, making sure the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Put a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat, add 1/4 inch of oil, and heat until hot. Working in batches, spoon about 1/4 cup of the potato mixture into the hot oil for each latke, pressing lightly with a spatula to form 4-inch pancakes that are about 1/4 inch thick. Take care not to overcrowd the pan.
Fry, turning once, until crispy and golden, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the fried latkes to the rack on the pan in the oven to keep warm while you cook the remaining batter, adding more oil as needed.
Season the latkes with salt and serve immediately with the applesauce, garnished with chopped chives.
Don’t have a food processor with a long shredding blade? I don’t, either. A box grater worked fine, although my arm got a little tired grating the sweet potatoes! This would be a great recipe for your partner, friends, or family to help you with in the kitchen – one person can peel, one person can grate, one person can fry.
Tempted to make the latkes 100% sweet potato? DON’T. Lately the trend has been sweet potato tater tots, sweet potato french fries, and sweet potato hash browns – and they are just TOO SWEET. Mixing sweet potatoes with a russet and chives gives the latkes a “hint” of sweetness (like Tal says) while still being savory. Add to that the tartness of the spiked applesauce and it’s a flavor celebration for your tastebuds.
I used chickpea flour instead of rice flour, which worked just fine. Probably regular flour would work as well – Tal was probably trying to keep the recipe gluten-free.
It’s REALLY important to wring the excess liquid from the shredded potatoes and onions.
It’s also really important the oil be very hot.
I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup to measure out the potato mixture.
So! Enjoy this winter treat! Next time I’ll share my review of Crossroads – which is probably a book you’ll want to put on your Christmas list, either for yourself, a fellow vegan, or an omnivore foodie friend.