In preparation for Chanukah, the JT Staff put together an assortment of latke recipes: a classic take, a health-conscious option, and a Sephardic spin. Tell us how they came out and send photos! Email email@example.com
Latkes and Applesauce
From Gary Schuman
Chanukah is not just for the kinderlach, says Chef Gary, aka the JT’s regular food columnist Gary Schuman. And the most important part of his latkes recipe, he says, is love.
“While everyone elsewhere is singing Nat King Cole’s ‘Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire,’ I point you to Nat Cole’s ‘Nature Boy,’” quips Schuman. “The closing line of that song is: ‘The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to latke and be loved in return.’”
Happy Chanukah from Chef Gary, and fry safely!
4 – 5 Idaho potatoes
1 yellow onion
Kosher salt & ground
2 tablespoon Vegetable oil or pure olive oil, not extra virgin
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
5 – 6 peeled, cored, diced apples
2/3 – 3/4 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Grate the onion by hand on finest setting. Grate the potatoes on top of onion. Mix into the onion; this will keep the potato mixture from getting brown. (Tip: Put band aids in your knuckles before grating. This will protect them from needing bandages afterwards.)
Squeeze out as much water from the mixture as possible, to keep the pancakes crispy. Add the beaten egg, salt, pepper, and flour, and a teaspoon of oil.
Heat oil in a large skillet. Mix and then spoon out the potato mixture into the skillet on medium high heat. Flatten the pancake and cook for just under two minutes. Lace curtains will form around the edge as they brown. Flip and cook for another minute and a half.
Remove from pan. Drain on paper towels. Place onto parchment or foil-lined
Potato pancakes can be frozen once cooled: When they get to room temperature, place some in a Ziploc bag or covered plastic container, and then place into the freezer and they will be good for several weeks. (Do not microwave to reheat. Instead, defrost on counter or in the fridge overnight. Then, heat in the oven on a medium temperature.)
Perfect accompaniments are sour cream, ketchup, salsa, or applesauce, and the best apple sauce is homemade: Place apples, sugar, and water into pan or pot and cover. Cook over medium heat until apples are soft; around a half hour. Then mash the apple mixture, or mix with an immersion blender. Refrigerate until served.
Potato Carrot Zucchini Pancakes with Applesauce
From Beth Ginsberg
A wide array of fried favorites are prepared during Chanukah, ranging from potato latkes to doughnuts, but smart eating during this time of year is easier than you may think, says author Beth Ginsberg. A local and first-time contributor to the JT, Ginsberg is the executive chef for the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) and received formal training at the Culinary Institute of America.
“Find the right balance between indulgence and moderation. It’s not just about the pounds associated with splurging during this time of year, but the health risks that come with culinary excess, such as heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and cancer,” she says.
3 peeled russet potatoes
2 peeled carrots
1 peeled onion
1 tablespoon organic flour
or matzah meal
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon baking powder
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
Pinch black pepper
Olive oil or canola oil
1 vanilla bean (optional)
8 large apples (peeled and cored)
1/3 cup water or apple juice
1 tablespoon agave nectar
or natural sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Biddle Street Catering Zuccuni/ Carrot and Potato LatkeEither grate potatoes, carrots, zucchini, and onion in a food processor or by hand. Place in a bowl and add egg whites, flour, baking powder, sea salt, and pepper. Spray a griddle or a large sauté pan with cooking spray (if using a pan, keep the flame low). Add mix as you would for pancakes (make them large or small to your preference). Work quickly so that prepped potatoes do not turn dark. Let get golden on one side and flip over, then place on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Finish pancakes by baking for 20 minutes at 350°F and serve warm with apple sauce (you can purchase organic apple sauce with no sugar or make your own).
To make the applesauce, place peeled apples, water or juice, and all other ingredients in a sauce pan. If using a vanilla bean, cut it in half lengthwise and place in pot. Place over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cover pan and simmer about 15 minutes until apples are soft. Remove pot and transfer to a food processor or food mill and puree. Serve warm with potato pancakes or chilled.
Aruk (Iraqi Herb and Potato Patties)
From Einat Admony and Janna Gur via Kosher.comEinat Admony is the author of “Balaboosta” and chef/owner of New York City’s popular Balaboosta, Kish-Kash, and Taïm restaurants. Janna Gur is an Israeli food writer, editor, and cook book author, and an expert on Israeli and Jewish cuisine.
In Jewish-Iraqi homes, you’ll often find these fragrant, golden-green latkes made with loads of fresh herbs, because they come together with minimal effort. Unlike the more familiar and labor-intensive Ashkenazi latkes, made with raw grated potato, these use mashed, precooked potatoes, resulting in crispy patties with a soft interior. Some people bake their potatoes, rather than boil them, for a richer flavor. The drier texture makes the latkes fluffier, too.
This recipe makes about 24 patties.
3 medium russet potatoes
1 large yellow onion
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Vegetable or olive oil, for frying
Gefen black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 and 1/2 teaspoon baharat
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon Gefen ground cumin
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped scallions
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Bake the potatoes in their skins until completely soft when poked with a skewer or thin knife, about an hour. Let them cool on the counter. Scoop out the cooled potato flesh and roughly mash in a large bowl. Grate onion into another bowl. Squeeze out as much moisture as you can, and then add the onion to the potatoes. Add eggs, flour, scallions, parsley, cilantro, cumin, paprika, baharat, salt, and several twists of pepper and mix thoroughly. If you have time, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes (this will stabilize the texture).
Line a tray or plate with two layers of paper towels. Fill a large nonstick skillet with vegetable oil to a depth of 1/4 inch (six millimeters) and heat the oil over medium-high heat. While the oil is heating, rub your hands with additional oil and shape the potato mixture into patties about two and 1/2 inches (six centimeters) across. Working in batches, add the patties to the hot oil and fry until they are deep golden-green and crispy, two to three minutes on each side. Transfer to the paper towels to drain.
Repeat to cook the remaining patties. For a sauce recommendation, we suggest our Chile Tahini Sauce on Kosher.com.