Sweet potato latke
My annual fried food quota is about five servings, divided among oysters and clams in the summer, latkes in the winter. Okay, and the occasional bar batch of sweet potato fries. Maybe five is wishful thinking. And maybe talking about fried clams under a menorah photo is, well, an unintended testament to my non-kosherdom. But onto these latkes, tweaked from the recipe in Plenty. It took a few tries — lesson is make them super thin, truly no more than the 1T he suggests, spread with the back of a spoon. Sweet potatoes just do not crisp through — you will get a nice crust around a gooey center. If you want a traditional, crisp, shredded latke, use a Russet potato.
I served these latke with a yogurt sauce from Plenty recipe (see below), charred Brussels sprouts and some warm lentils with za’atar. Yogurt sauce and a simple salad would be nice and refreshing too.
2 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and cut into large chunks
.75 cup all-purpose fluor 1 small red onion, peeled and diced
2T soy sauce (I like San-J reduced salt Tamari)
1 thumb ginger, peeled and slivered
1/3 cup Greek yoghurt (non-fat is fine)
.5 lemon, juiced
1T olive oil
.25 cup minced cilantro
salt + pepper
light oil, for frying (I like cooking grade olive oil or grapeseed)
Bring salted water to a rolling boil in a soup pot. Dump sweet potato chunks into a colander — fit in pot, cover and let cook until potatoes are quite soft. You want to shake and rotate the potatoes a few times so all chunks cook. Now leave calendar to drain for at least an hour over a bowl or small pot.
When potatoes are drained, dump into a mixing bowl and mix in flour, onion, ginger, salt and pepper. Use your hands or a whisk peel — just do not mix much more once flour is dissolved in potato.
Heat a cast iron skillet and add enough to form a thin layer across pan. When oil is very hot, use a tablespoon to add a few dollops of potato. Go light, and spread each dollop very thinly with the back of spoon.
Brown for about 5 minutes per side — flip after 5. Let pancakes drain on a plate between layers of paper towel.
While pancakes are cooking, make yoghurt sauce. Mix yoghurt, lemon juice, cilantro and olive oil in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Plate pancakes and serve topped with a generous amount of yoghurt.