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Season’s Eatings

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Private chef and caterer Lisa Rovick and her root vegetable latkes. Photographs by Peter Frank Edwards

December 17, 2014

Season’s Eatings

Hanukkah’s here! Try this tasty twist on traditional latkes

With Hanukkah in full swing, so are the special foods made during the eight-day Jewish holiday. “Latkes are a must for Hanukkah,” says private chef and caterer Lisa Rovick of the traditional fried potato pancakes. “Typically, they’re made with regular potatoes and served with sour cream or applesauce. But since there’s no food police, I like to incorporate carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes; a date chutney on top finishes it off.” Here, we offer the tasty recipe for root vegetable latkes that she shared in our December 2014 feature, “Chefs’ Must-Have Holiday Dishes.”

Rovick’s tips: Don’t overcrowd the pan; you need room to flip the latkes. Use an ice-cream scoop or measuring cup to make them more uniform in size.

Root Vegetable Latkes
(Yields 20)
1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes
1 lb. sweet potatoes
2 carrots
2 parsnips
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for finishing
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 egg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 qt. vegetable oil or olive oil for frying

Line two baking sheets with paper towels and set aside.

Peel the potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and parsnips and coarsely grate them using a box grater or the shredding disk of a food processor. Put the grated vegetables in a colander, squeeze out as much liquid as possible, and discard the liquid.

Place the vegetables in a mixing bowl. Stir in the next seven ingredients and mix well. The mixture should be loose but still hold together. Add a little more flour if it’s too loose.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to just cover the bottom of the pan, about 1/8-inch deep. When the oil is hot and shimmering, drop two to three tablespoons of the mixture in the skillet per latke. Gently flatten them with a spatula to make a “pancake” three inches in diameter. Cook for three or four minutes per side, or until golden.

Transfer the latkes to the paper towel-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with a little salt. Repeat with the rest of the mixture, adding more oil as needed.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Remove the paper towels from the baking sheets, place the latkes on the baking sheets, and reheat them in the oven for five to seven minutes, or until hot. Keep the latkes in a single layer so that they crisp back up in the oven.

Serve with sour cream and chives, applesauce, or Lisa’s date chutney.

For that recipe and to see the full “Chefs’ Must-Have Holiday Dishes” feature, click here.