Yes, it is the seventh night of Hanukkah already, so I’m a bit tardy with this recipe for latkes, the potato pancakes which are traditional to this holiday. But, you know, there’s never a time of year when potato pancakes are not welcome. So, here’s my recipe which I made for nearly 100 people last night in Palo Alto. Don’t stint on the oil, with latkes it is all about the oil–you definitely want a crisp, golden crust. Served traditionally, of course, with sour cream or apple sauce, I’ve included a recipe for tofu sour cream which is pretty darn good (full recipe after the jump).
SWEET POTATO-POTATO LATKES
(makes about a dozen 2 1/2-inch latkes)
You can use whatever flour you prefer, but I used garbanzo flour and potato starch because I thought that would provide a more interesting flavor profile, and because I wanted to keep the latkes gluten free.
2 medium Russet-type potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated
1 large sweet potato, peeled and coarsely grated (or a total of six cups loosely packed potatoes and sweet potatoes)
1 small onion, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
1/4 cup garbanzo flour
1/4 cup potato starch (or use your flour of choice, 1/2 cup total, instead of the garbanzo flour and potato starch)
salt and pepper to taste
canola and/or olive oil
1. Use a food processor or box grater to grate the sweet potatoes and potatoes.
2. Combine the grated potatoes and sweet potatoes with the onions and garlic in a large colander. Add a teaspoon or more of salt and mix everything together. Allow to stand for about half an hour for water to run out of this mixture. Lightly squeeze to get a little more water out.
3. Combine this potato mixture with the flour and potato starch, nutritional yeast and salt and pepper. Add a little more flour, if it is not sticking together well, but keep the flour to a minimum so the flavor of the other ingredients can shine through.
4. Pat this mixture into about a dozen 2 1/2-inch by quarter-inch thick pancakes. Don’t worry if they don’t stick together perfectly, the crust which forms in the pan will hold them together. Try not to get them too thick or they may not cook in the middle.
5. Heat a large, thick-bottomed frying pan, add oil and when the oil is very hot fry the latkes in batches over medium-high heat about four minutes per side or until they are crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels and then keep warm in an oven until serving time. Make plenty!
TOFU SOUR CREAM
7 ounces medium or firm tofu, drained
1/2 cup Vegenaise (tofu mayonnaise)
1 tablespoon umeboshi vinegar, or to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice, optional to taste
Combine everything in your food processor or blender and blend until it is smooth and creamy. Check seasoning and adjust to your taste. Should keep a week or more in the fridge.