Thursday, December 6, 2012

Rainbow latkes with Idaho potatoes and pear-applesauce

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"Rainbow" latkes combine potatoes with carrots, parsnips and beets

I know this will be a shock to some of you, but I did not grow up eating potato latkes on Hanukkah.

Why? Because my mother was not, and is not, the world's greatest cook.

Maybe my Grandma Rose made latkes (fried potato pancakes) on Hanukkah. I don't think so, though - I remember most of her food very clearly. No latkes come to mind.

Fortunately, I have more than made up for the lack of latkes in my youth now that I'm a grownup with my own family and my own kitchen. I make latkes every chance I get. And I am quite sure that my children will remember my latkes - which, after all, is the point of holiday food traditions.

This year the Idaho Potato Commission asked me to create four Hanukkah recipes using delicious Idaho potatoes. I decided to mix it up a bit and introduce the potatoes to some other vegetable friends. Potatoes, carrots, golden beets, parsnips, green onions - the combination looks gorgeous and tastes even better.

It's traditional to serve latkes with applesauce and sour cream. I like to add pears to my applesauce, both for the taste and because the pears give the finished sauce a smoother texture. Another attempt to one-up tradition.

Note: If you can't find golden or yellow beets, you can use a red one, but the only color you'll see in your latkes is pink. No rainbow.

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Rainbow latkes with Idaho potatoes
Potatoes play nicely with carrots, golden beets, parsnips and green onions in this twist on the traditional latke recipe for Hanukkah.
  • 2 pounds Idaho potatoes, scrubbed (do not peel)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled
  • 1 medium golden beet, peeled
  • 3 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • grapeseed or canola oil, for frying
  • pear-applesauce and sour cream, for serving
Grate the potatoes, carrot, parsnip and golden beet into a large mixing bowl. Add the chopped green onions and stir to combine. Add the egg and stir again. Sprinkle the flour and salt over the grated vegetables and mix well.Preheat the oven to 300° F.In a large, heavy skillet (non-stick or cast iron), heat about 2 Tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Spoon in about 2 Tablespoons of the potato mixture per pancake, using the back of your spoon to flatten the pancakes out. Cook about 3 minutes or until the pancakes are golden brown on the bottom. Flip them and cook another 3 or 4 minutes, until both sides are golden brown, the edges are crisp, and the pancakes are cooked through.Put the cooked pancakes on a rack set over a baking sheet. Slide the baking sheet into the warm oven to keep the pancakes warm as you cook the rest in batches. Add more oil to the skillet as needed - you don't want to skimp on the oil or the pancakes will not crisp properly.Serve the potato pancakes with pear-applesauce (or plain applesauce) and sour cream.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 24 5-inch pancakes


Beth (OMG! Yummy) said...

Love the addition of the pear to the applesauce! Fun recipe Erika!

Valentina said...

Erika -- these look divine. Love the idea of combining all of those root vegetables!

Julia Marks said...

How pretty to look at.

Libbety said...

Erika, I love all of your recipes. When can we buy the cookbook? :)

Erika Kerekes said...

@Libbety you are too kind. I will be happy to give you my agent's email address. We're working on it....

Meantime, I'm experimenting with ebooks, collecting some of my most popular recipes into themed volumes for e-readers. The first one is on Amazon and now and is called SOUPS AND STEWS: DELICIOUS RECIPES FOR CHILLY DAYS. Kindle, iPad and other formats available. :)

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