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Sweet Potato Latkes

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Sweet Potato Latkes

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This recipe for sweet potato latkes is a favorite of mine, and takes latkes to a new level. Choose jewel or garnet sweet potatoes for their rich flavor and deep orange flesh; Japanese yams are creamy in color with a deep chestnut flavor. Even better, mix the two! These make a great side dish, and while you can serve them with applesauce or crème fraiche as is traditional, I like them best plain.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes and/or Japanese yams (about three medium)
  • 3 large shallots, chopped fine (about ½ cup)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose or gluten free flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives or scallions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley or cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1 ½ cups olive oil

Preparation:

Peel the sweet potatoes and drop them into a bowl of cool water to prevent discoloration. Pat them dry and grate with the large holes of a box grater, dropping them back into the water as you go.
When all of the potatoes are grated, drain them thoroughly in a colander, and wrap in a kitchen towel. Gather the edges of the towel and twist to press out any excess liquid. If the sweet potatoes are still wet, lay them out on a double thickness of paper towel and pat dry.
Preheat oven to 275’F. Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and put it in the oven to hold the cooked latkes.
Crack the egg into a mixing bowl, and beat it together with the flour, baking soda, salt, pepper and cayenne. Add the sweet potatoes, shallots, chives and parsley, and mix thoroughly.
Using a 1/4 cup scoop to measure with, form the mixture into patties about 3" across. Leave the edges jagged, as this creates a crisp “lace”. Place them in a single layer on parchment or on a sheet pan.
Heat a heavy skillet over medium high. (Cast iron is great for creating an extra crisp latke). Add enough olive oil so that it fills the pan 1/4" deep. Heat the oil for about 5 minutes, or until a shred of latke sizzles and begins to fry immediately when dropped into the pan.
Carefully slide the patties into the oil one at a time about 45 seconds apart. This ensures that the oil stays sufficiently hot. Make sure the latkes are not crowded. Overcrowding will make them less crisp.
Cook each latke until the bottom is golden, about 5 minutes. Gently turn and cook 3-4 minutes more, until deep golden brown.
Place paper towels on the baking rack, and place the latkes in a single layer on the rack to drain and crisp. Keep the latkes in the oven while the remaining patties are cooking. Serve warm, either plain or with applesauce or crème fraiche on the side.
Makes 6-8 latkes
Copyright 2010 by Jen Hoy

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