There’s something about latkes that’s always annoyed me.
The shredded potato pieces are so long! And so unwieldy! Do you know what I mean? Unless your batter is really wet, it’s hard to make them stay put in a compact patty. And if your batter is really wet, it’s not going to be crispy.
So here’s the solution: First you shred the potatoes. Then you scoop them into a bowl and change the blade on your food processor to the knife blade. And back in they go for a couple of quick pulses.
Do you see the difference? They go from being long shoestrings to shorter, chopped shoestrings. And they pack into plump little patties perfectly, so you end up with latkes like this guy. Hello, gorgeous!!
Yes, this does add an extra step to the latke-making process. And yes, it does mean that you’ll end up with one more bowl to wash. But I say it’s totally worth it. Besides, the food processor is doing like 90% of the work for you. It’s kind of hard to complain.
You’ll find that not all vegetables require this trick. Potatoes definitely do, but carrots and zucchini don’t. Carrot shreddings are thinner, and zucchini shreddings are wetter — even when you squeeze them out with every ounce of your strength.
But there are eight nights of Chanukah. That’s eight nights to heat up the frying pan. And that amounts to far fewer excuses for not trying these sweet potato latkes.
Go on. Take a bite.
One year ago: Red pepper fennel soup
Yield: About 30 latkes
- 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
- ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp matzah meal
- 5 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ⅓ cup finely chopped scallions
- canola oil, for frying
1. Shred the sweet potatoes in a food processor fitted with the shredding blade. Transfer them to a bowl and switch the blade to the knife blade. Fill the bowl of the processor half-way and pulse a few times to cut the shredded potatoes into smaller pieces. Make sure not to fill the bowl completely, or you could end up with mush at the bottom. Transfer the cut, shredded potatoes to a large mixing bowl.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together matzah meal, eggs, salt, and pepper. Stir this mixture into the potatoes until evenly incorporated. Add scallions and give the batter one more mix.
3. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium/low heat with oil high enough to reach about half-way up the latkes. Pack a quarter-cup measuring cup with batter and carefully tap it into the pan. Use the back of the cup (or a fork) to press the latke mounds down, reducing their height by about half. Reduce heat to low.
4. Fry three at a time for about 4 minutes on each side, or until crispy and lightly browned. Transfer to a paper-towel lined baking sheet to drain excess oil. Let cool briefly and serve with sour cream or apple sauce.