Sweeten up Chanukah with these latkes (though try to avoid ‘the slick’)

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Naomi Ross | Special to the JT

(Courtesy)

As Jewish home cooks, we are constantly kept busy in the kitchen, whether for weeknight dinners or for Shabbat and holiday entertaining.

Chanukah wouldn’t be the same without the requisite latkes, and there is still plenty of time left to make them. Try this sweeter twist on the typical recipe.

Grandma loved to fry. Like a conductor with baton in hand, she fried with mastery, exerting control with each flip of her spatula. Carefully monitored oil bubbled up around hand-formed latkes, the quiet sputter and sizzle creating a rhythmic background music in the kitchen.

Beware and step with caution for with each and every perfect lacy latke, a drop of oil did escape, creating a slick that could rival the BP oil spill. Slipping and sliding was a risk we were gladly willing to take for one of Grandma’s perfectly fried latkes.
This recipe — one of 160 kosher recipes — comes from my first cookbook, “The Giving Table,” out in time for Chanukah.

Sweet-Potato Latkes (Pareve)

Makes 6-12, depending on size

A little bit of spice complements the warm flavors of sweet potato. The natural sugars in sweet potatoes can cause sticking in the pan. Do not try to move about or flip the latkes until a golden crust forms on the bottom of each latke.

Ingredients:

  • 2½ pounds medium sweet potatoes (about 3 to 4), peeled and grated (see cook’s note below)
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • canola or vegetable oil, for frying

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, stir together potatoes, scallions, flour, eggs and spices.
Heat about ¼-inch oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot (not smoking).

Working in batches, spoon potato mixture (approximately 2 to 3 tablespoons per latke) into oil and flatten with the back of the spatula.

Cook until golden-brown, flipping once, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer latkes with a slotted spatula to a rack or place on paper towels to drain.

Serve hot with applesauce and sour cream. Or try Maple-Apple Cream.

Sweet Potato Latkes (Courtesy from the new cookbook, “The Giving Table”)

Maple-Apple Cream (Dairy)

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp. maple syrup
  • ½ apple, peeled and grated

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk to blend.

Cook’s Note: For easiest prep, use the fine shredding disc on your food processor.

Make Ahead: Latkes are best made fresh out of the pan, but if making in advance, reheat uncovered on a sheet pan in a single layer in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until hot and re-crisped.

Naomi Ross is a cooking instructor and food writer based in Woodmere, N.Y. Follow her: at
@naomirosscooks on Instagram or visit her website at: www.naomirosscooks.com.

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