With Hanukkah approaching fast, people everywhere are getting excited to dine on treats such as latkes and Sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts). But after eight days, those delicious dishes can get tiresome. This year, why not try out a little variation? According to Phyllis Glazer, modern takes on traditional foods are becoming all the rage in Israel (check out her article on the history of latkes in the current issue of Moment here!). Here is one of our favorites:
Sweet Potato Latkes with Spiced Maple Syrup
Makes 10-12 (4-6 servings)
For the Latkes:
- 1 pound sweet potatoes
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ cup matzah meal
- Pinch salt
- Pinch white pepper
- 2-4 tablespoons light olive oil for frying
For the sauce:
- 1 cup real maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch of ground cloves
- Chopped fresh coriander or mint leaves to garnish
Scrub the sweet potatoes, peel and shred them on the fine side of a grater or in the food processor. Transfer to a wire-mesh strainer and squeeze to remove moisture. Let stand in the strainer or a colander placed over a bowl for 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a fork and add the matzah meal, sweet potato, salt and pepper. Let stand an additional 5-10 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the sauce: In a small pan combine the ingredients for the sauce, heat over low heat and keep warm.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet and add a small ladleful of the batter. Flatten gently and fry on both sides till golden-brown.
Add more oil to the pan as necessary, and fry the remaining latkes.
Place the latkes on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil. Pour some of the heated sauce on individual plates and arrange three latkes on top per serving, or use a serving platter and pass the sauce separately. Garnish with fresh coriander or mint. Serve with sour cream or plain yogurt if desired.
“Adapted from The Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking, by Phyllis Glazer with Miriyam Glazer (Harper-Collins 2004).”
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