It’s the last day of Hanukkah, but that doesn’t mean it’s the last day to enjoy satisfying snacks like potato latkes. There really is no season for these savory potato pancakes. Nikki Cascone, who just opened her new “global Jewish” restaurant, Octavia’s Porch, shares her recipe for Sweet Potato Latkes With Lime Crème Fraiche for you to make tonight or any night you’re craving something sweet, salty, and fried.
“Latkes are a favorite during Hanukkah because they are fried in oil, and oil is central to the celebration and story of Hanukkah,” says Cascone. “The latkes I do at Octavia’s Porch are special because they’re made from sweet potato instead of regular potatoes, and served with lime crème fraiche, bringing some South American flair. This particular dish demonstrates the sort of fare I’m trying to achieve at Octavia’s Porch — global Jewish cuisine — tying together flavors, techniques, and ingredients from all around the world.”
Sweet Potato Latkes With Lime Crème Fraiche
For the Lime Crème Fraiche:
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped
1 cup crème fraiche
In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients, and place in the fridge to allow all the flavors to incorporate.
For the Latkes:
2 pounds sweet potatoes
1 large Spanish onion, very finely chopped
kosher salt, to taste
pinch ancho chili powder
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup matzoh
1/3 cup flour
Using a food processor or hand grater, finely shred the potatoes, and place them in a colander to squeeze out the excess moisture as much as possible. In a bowl, combine the shredded potato with the onions, eggs, flour, matzoh, and salt. Mix in the spices — cinnamon, chili powder, nutmeg — and baking powder.
In a large heavy skillet, heat 1/4 cup of canola oil over high heat until very hot but not smoking. Squeeze 1/4 cup of batter one more time, and drop into hot oil, flattening with a spatula. Don’t put more then a few in the pan at one time. Lower the heat to medium, regulating the heat carefully.
Fry until golden brown on one side, then turn over and fry the other side. Don’t turn more then once or they will start to get soggy. Place finished latkes on a dry paper towel, then serve with a healthy dollop of lime crème fraiche.
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 9, 2010