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This holiday season, I invite you to try a latke recipe with a bit more spice! In preparation for Hanukkah, I created a recipe that mixed my Latina and Jewish roots and my taste-testers and I couldn’t be happier with the result!
Pancakes have always been big in my family. When I was a kid, every Sunday my dad would make the most delicious pancakes for all of us to eat. Sunday breakfast was a sacred time in our busy weekend lives to take a deep breath and check in with each other. Later on, he taught my brother and me how to make the perfect fluffy pancakes.
Hanukkah pancakes, by contrast, are anything but fluffy. When frying latkes, the crispier, the better! In making these latkes, I married the tastes of fried plantains, plátanos fritos, that connect me with my mom and her Mexican roots together with the pancake expertise I learned from my dad for new Mexican-American-Jewish take on this Hanukkah classic.
This recipe makes 12 medium-sized latkes.
2 green plantains
1 yellow, sweet plantain
2 gold potatoes
½ of a large white, yellow or brown onion
2 garlic cloves, grated
2 whole eggs, whisked
½ cup matzo meal or breadcrumbs
Canola or grapeseed oil, for frying
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon mild paprika
1 teaspoon ground oregano
2 teaspoons chilli powder or chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
You will also need:
Food processor (with shredding blades)
Large mixing bowl
- Begin by preparing your ingredients. Use a paring knife to peel off the tough, outer skin on the green and yellow plantains. Using a peeler, peel off the skin on the potatoes.
- Slice each plantain in half and each potato into pieces (the potato pieces should be large enough to fit through the feed of a food processor).
- Dice the onion and garlic and place into large mixing bowl.
- Using the food processor’s small shredding blade, shred the plantains and potatoes (option to use a hand grater if a food processor is not available).
- Add the shredded plantains and potatoes into the bowl of diced onions and garlic. Then add the eggs, matzo meal, and spices (use as much spice or as little as you wish). Mix it all together!
- Next, heat your large skillet or frying pan with enough grapeseed or canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan (no more than ¼ inch). You can test the heat of the oil by placing a small piece of your latke mixture into the pan. If you hear a sizzle, it’s ready!
- Then, spoon a two tablespoon-sized amount of the latke mixture into the pan. With the back of the spoon, gently press down on the latke for even fry. You should be able to add 3-4 latkes to a large skillet.
- Fry on the first side until your desired brown, crispiness, usually 2-3 minutes for me. With a spatula, carefully flip the latke over and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes.
- Once finished, lay your latkes on a metal drying rack too cool.
- While sour cream and applesauce are delicious, cooling toppings for these spicy latkes, I encourage you to try something more tropical! Dice your avocado and mango, mix them together, and sprinkle some salt and pepper on top of your latkes.
Bon appetit! Buen provecho!