I know, “What is an Italian girl like me doing making latkes?” Being raised Italian, I was never exposed to the Hanukkah or the traditions of Judaism until I was married to my ex husband who was Jewish. Being the good wife, I emerged myself in learning every Jewish holiday and tradition, of course that meant learning everything about the food.
For Hanukkah, at our home, I would always stick to the traditional dinner of a roast, latkes, challah and a salad. I will not get into the religious side of the holiday (click here if you would like to learn about the holiday) but will share that the holiday is basically about oil and when it comes to the food it’s about the food being cooked in oil.
I love latkes which are basically shredded potatoes with shredded onions and then the latkes are fried in oil and served with apple sauce and sour cream, who wouldn’t love that? Being Italian, I always had to bring in my element into every dish I could, so for me, I would add rosemary to my latkes; over time I would add sweet potatoes…so in essence I have created my own version of an Italian Latkes.
For me I used a sweet potato for this recipe here is a photo of a sweet potato
If you can not find a sweet potato in your market, use a yam (some markets call yams sweet potatoes but they are completely different in texture, color and taste), here is a photo of a yam
I took my potatoes and sweet potato and peeled them, as you can see the sweet potato is whiter then the regular potato
I then shredded them in my food processor, I also cubed 1/2 of an onion and minced it in my food processor, here is the before
I placed the potatoes and minced onions in a strainer and liquid strain out for about 30 minutes while I minced my rosemary
I put all my ingredients in a bowl and mixed until it was all blended
then I shaped my potatoes into latkes and placed them onto a baking sheet
I prepared my oil over high heat and added 5 latkes to the pan at a time, cooked them until they were lightly browned and flipped them to brown on the other side
I removed my latkes from the skillet and placed them onto a paper bag from the grocery store, my friend Robyn taught me this trick as it removes the oil from the latke
I plated it and added the traditional sour cream and apple sauce
These latkes were amazing and we just loved them. You can omit the sweet potato and rosemary and stick to your traditional recipe but I can assure you that if you put these Italian version out on your table, they will all disappear. For those who have a Trader Joes in your neighborhood, they sell latke’s in the frozen section and that makes for an easy dinner as well. Now there is no excuse as to why you can not have a latkes at your next Hanukkah dinner. Happy Hanukkah
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Thank you again ~ Patty Limatola-Tanenbaum