I’m not Jewish, but I do love food, and I’ll take any opportunity to cook up something new that’s culturally significant and tasty. I’ve been meaning to try making latkes for a while now, but, as I often do, I got too caught up in the how, rather than the when. I asked myself, do I work out some food trickery, and replace the potatoes with cauliflower or vegetables? What should I top them with, do I bother with sour cream? And what about all that oil?
What I ended up with may not be completely welcome at the Festival of “Lite”, but it may just be tasty enough to be worth it. And oh my, the chutney! I used a recipe from Closet Cooking, and it is most certainly my favorite part. It makes quite a bit, so if I can stop myself just eating it straight, I’ll be taking Kevin’s advice and using it on grilled cheez sandwiches or with curried chickn salads.
Sweet Potato Latkes:
3 medium sized sweet potatoes, scrubbed.
1 small yellow onion
a few shakes dried parsley (or ~tbsp fresh, minced)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
a few shakes salt and pepper
a pinch onion powder
a pinch garlic powder
a few shakes curry powder
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Begin by shredding your sweet potatoes and onions. If you’re fancy, you can use the finest shredding disk of your food processor for the potatoes, and the second finest for the onion. If you’re like me, you can shred them with a handheld grater, it’ll just take a little bit more effort.
Once the potatoes and onions are shredded, pile them up in a thin dish towel or a substantial paper towel (or a cheesecloth if your kitchen is more prepared than mine), and wring out as much excess liquid as you can.
Combine all ingredients (excluding oil) in a large bowl.
Pour just enough oil over a baking sheet that it covers the entire surface. Stick in the oven as its heating up to prewarm the oil.
Once the oven is at 400 degrees, begin forming the latkes. I made them small this batch, but I think I would have preferred them a bit larger in the end. I formed them all first, so they were ready to be quickly placed onto the hot baking sheet. I found that baking them in the oven posed a much smaller risk of me getting splattered with oil; however, the oil does sputter a bit as the latkes are being placed into it, so be careful! As you place them on the pan, leave enough space between to flip them. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the bottoms are starting to crisp and are golden brown.
Flip, then bake for an additional ten minutes. Remove from the oven, and drain on paper towels. I ended up blotting mine a bit with the paper towels, to remove excess oil. Serve warm, with apple chutney (and vegan sour cream, if you like). Enjoy!