Wayne's Weekend

Wayne's Weekend

The Basic Latke Gets A Makeover For Hanukkah

Chef Laura Frankel shares her Latka-Palooza of recipes with Wayne

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Wayne Johnson
    Wayne Johnson creates a Latke dish.

    There are many rituals associated with the various holidays that we all celebrate.  With Hanukkah, latkes have always been a favorite in the Jewish community.  Traditional latke recipes abound, but this week I was fortunate to have Chef Laura Frankel, Executive Chef for Spertus Kosher Catering, join me and share new ways of taking the basic latke to a whole new level.

    She calls her range of recipes Latke-Palooza because she created a different recipe for each night of the Festival of Lights.  Whether she’s added carrots, parsnips, celery root, roasted garlic, or fresh herbs, or given applesauce a flavor kick, Chef Laura has created quite a flavorful variety.

    The real treat for everyone is that whether or not you are celebrating Hanukkah, these little potato delicacies can be a flavorful delight on everyone’s table.

    Latke-palooza

    [CHI] Latke-palooza
    Check out these recipes

    Chef Laura’s Latkes (Basic Latke Recipe)

    I like really crispy latkes that are only slightly creamy inside. I don’t use yolks in my batter as egg yolks make doughs and batters tender. Egg whites hold the ingredients together but don’t make it soft or cakey.

    2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and shredded (after shredding the potatoes, place them in a large bowl with ice water-they won’t oxidize and turn rust colored)
    Neutrally flavored oil for frying (I prefer canola)
    1 large Spanish onion, peeled and grated
    3 egg whites, beaten with a whisk until frothy
    3-6 tablespoons flour
    2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

    Place the shredded potatoes in a large clean towel and squeeze out all of the moisture; make sure the potatoes are completely dry.

    Place all of the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and add the potatoes. Mix all of the ingredients together until thoroughly combined.

    Heat a large skillet with 1-½ inches of oil. Drop spoonfuls of latke batter into the oil.

    Flatten it slightly with the back of a spoon. Brown the latkes on both sides. Remove to a platter lined with paper towels.

    To re-heat: Place the latkes on a cookie sheet and heat in a 400 degree oven until hot.

    Apple-Cranberry Ginger Sauce

    This is a beautiful garnet-colored tart applesauce. It is a perfect complement for the crispy latkes. The addition of ginger adds a deep citrus spice flavor that balances the vegetables in the latke.

    6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
    1-cup fresh or frozen cranberries
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 whole cinnamon stick
    2 teaspoons chopped crystallized ginger
    ½ cup apple cider or juice
    Pinch of kosher salt

    1. Place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook uncovered over medium heat until the cranberries pop. Continue cooking until the excess moisture evaporates. Remove the cinnamon stick and stir to combine. The applesauce may be stored and covered in the refrigerator for up to one week or frozen for up to 2 months.

    Chef Laura’s Garden Variety Latke

    I was so excited when I wrote this recipe and even more thrilled once I smelled the latkes sizzling away in the pan. This latke variation is so good and savory that you will want to make these all year round. I served them with a slow cooked pot roast and the Apple-Cranberry Ginger Sauce-of course.

    1 ½ pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and shredded (after shredding the potatoes, place them in a large bowl with ice water-they won’t oxidize and turn rust colored)
    Neutrally flavored oil for frying (I prefer canola)
    1 large Spanish onion, peeled and grated
    2 medium parsnips, peeled and shredded
    1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
    ¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
    1 clove garlic, finely minced
    3 egg whites, beaten with a whisk until frothy
    3-6 tablespoons flour
    2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

    Place the shredded potatoes, parsnips and carrots in a large clean towel and squeeze out all of the moisture; make sure the vegetables are completely dry.

    Place all of the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and add the vegetables. Mix all of the ingredients together until thoroughly combined. The mix should be slightly wet and holding together. If not, add a little more flour.

    Heat a large skillet with 1-½ inches of oil. Drop spoonfuls of latke batter into the oil. Flatten it slightly with the back of a spoon. Brown the latkes on both sides. Remove to a platter lined with paper towels.
    To re-heat: Place the latkes on a cookie sheet and heat in a 400 degree oven until hot.

    Pumpkin Spice Latke

    To the basic recipe Add;
     3 teaspoons cinnamon
    ½ teaspoon nutmeg
    Pinch of ground cloves
    1 cup pumpkin puree
    ¼ additional flour to basic latke recipe.

    Kale, Roasted Garlic Latke with Caramelized Onion and Apple-Caramelized Onion Compote

    To the basic recipe add:
    1 cup chopped kale
    1 cup caramelized onions
    3 tablespoons roasted garlic
    ¼ cup additional flour

    To the compote add: 1 cup caramelized red onions

    Potato, Beet, Celery Root and Parsley Latke - (Borscht Belt Latke)

    To the basic recipe add:
    1 cup shredded red beets
    ½ cup shredded celery root
    1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
    ¼ cup additional flour

    Inside Out Potato and Mushroom Knish Latke

    To the basic recipe add:
    2 cups sautéed mushrooms, chopped
    ½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
    2 cloves garlic, minced finely

    Extreme Onion Latke

    To the basic recipe add:
    1 cup julienned leeks, sauteed
    ½ cup caramelized onions
    ½ cup chopped scallions
    ¼ cup shallots
    Chives
    ½ cup additional flour

    Dragon Breath Latke

    To the basic recipe add:
    Add: ½ cup caramelized red onions
    4 cloves garlic, sauteed
    2 tablespoons roasted garlic
     ¼ cup crushed wasabi peas
    1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno

    To the compote add: 1 cup mango chunks and cook over medium-low heat until the mango has softened (about 15 minutes)

    Chef Laura Frankel is Executive Chef for Spertus Kosher Catering. Founder of the adventurous, gourmet kosher Shallots restaurants in Chicago and New York and author of Jewish Cooking for All Seasons, and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes she has made it her creative mission to re-imagine and revitalize the diverse—and delicious—traditions of Jewish cooking.

    Thanks again to Chef Laura for sharing these recipes.  If you have any questions or comments, please send me an email at wayne@waynesweekend.com or follow me on facebook.