When Ceri and Laura started having guest bloggers I began to make a mental list of people I thought were SPC material. Top of this list was my friend Mia Brown. She’s a wonder really, chronically good-natured, mother to three energetic boys, she teaches yoga, runs marathons and is absolutely hilarious. Oh yeah, and she loves to cook. Not only that, she started up and runs the fantastic Kids Can Cook company. You must check her out www.kidscancook.com. Today we have the benefit of her expertise on SPC as she shares with us the joys of frying and Hanukkah. I love her spin on the Latka, I’m sure you will too.
I have two confessions to make. First, I feel that you should be aware of how much electric-orange mac and cheese my kids eat on a regular basis: LOTS. I try to balance this load with good home cooking as much as I can. Confession #2, when the cold weather hits I take this as a sign to hunker down, make more soup, bake things with cinnamon and FRY. The most perfect excuse for frying in our house comes in December with the onset of Channukah. As the story goes, a great miracle occurred in the ancient temple in Jerusalem. Judah, a soldier found enough oil to burn a lamp for only one night. Miracle of miracles, the oil lasted for EIGHT nights. So we pay homage to Judah and use as much oil as we can over those precious 8 days –which translates into a miracle in my kitchen — the smells from latkes, doughnuts, french fries, you name it, stays with us for quite a bit longer than 8 days.
While I don’t usually allow my kids to participate in the frying stage, they do a great job grating potatoes and zucchinis for latkes, squeezing out excess moisture and mixing and forming the patties
In honour of SPC’s first Channukah installment, my kids and I decided to try our hands at sweet potato latkes. I found that the sweet potatoes were not as starchy or wet as the traditional white potatoes so no draining or squeezing was necessary. They fried up beautifully and were crispy right out of the pan. You could bake these latkes as well, but what’s the fun in that?
My kids love the crunch, the natural sweetness, and dipping them in sour cream or vanilla or cinnamon spiked yogurt. But I think they mostly love the eerie resemblance (in colour only) to their precious mac and cheese.
Sweet Potato Latkes
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated
2 scallions, finely chopped (optional)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Stir together the potatoes, scallions if using, flour, eggs, salt, and pepper.
Heat oil in a deep 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until glistening. Working in batches of 4, spoon one heaping tablespoon of the potato mixture per latke into the oil and flatten slightly. Reduce heat to moderate and cook until golden, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Transfer the latkes with spatula to a wire rack with paper towel underneath or directly to paper towels to drain.
Accompaniments: Sour cream, Vanilla Yogurt, or Applesauce