Wednesday, September 25, 2013

NEW RECIPE: Sweet Potato Latkes

© Constantine William Spyrou

Most of the best ideas you get in your life come from talking to people. Especially if it's your family. My mom and I are both huge foodies and love watching food shows. Recently, we were watching one about latkes and we started getting ideas about how to make them with sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are extremely nutritious, which is why we had the idea (my mom is huge on health food, and it's rubbing off on me a bit as well). 

Now, making something savory with a sweet potato isn't something that is extremely tough to accomplish. Sweet potato fries are a great example of that, as they take on an amazing flavor when deep-fried and crispy. It adds a great level of umami to the dish (umami being savory flavor). However, transforming it into a latke is a bit harder because it utilizes more ingredients than just the sweet potato, so you have to make the ingredients work together. I think I have found a way, however. 

The bridge for this recipe between the sweet potato and the more savory ingredients is black pepper. It really spikes up the flavor of sweet potato fries already, and would do just the same for the latkes. It seems simple, but the complexity of the dish will blow your mind as you take a bite! 

Recipe will make 10-12 latkes.


2 cups shredded and peeled sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoon grated white onion
3 eggs
2 tablespoons matzah meal (if you can't get this, all-purpose flour works just as well)
1 tablespoon schmaltz (chicken fat. To keep it vegetarian, use vegetable shortening or margarine in place of this.)
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
Peanut oil for frying (schmaltz and butter also make great alternatives for this.)


1. Wash the sweet potatoes and wring them out with a cheesecloth before shredding to extract as much moisture as possible.
2. Combine all of your ingredients in a mixing bowl well.
3. Add some of your fat of choice to a hot pan. Add a good spoonful (about 3-4 oz) of your latke mixture into the pan, and flatten into a circle (no more than 1/2 inch thick). Brown on each side for about 2 minutes.
4. Drain your latkes, then serve piping hot with applesauce or another condiment of your choice.

This is basically a traditional latke but done with sweet potatoes. The cinnamon and parsley are additions I made because of how well cinnamon and sweet potatoes go together and how the freshness of the parsley helps to contrast the sweetness a bit as well. Schmaltz is the fat of choice here because of tradition, but you can always use other fats as well to keep it vegetarian. And, of course, sweet potato latkes definitely go well with applesauce (thanks to the cinnamon) and sour cream (that contrasts perfectly with the black pepper and sweet potato)! 

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know what you think and what you would change. If you make it at home, let me know how it turns out! Enjoy! =) 

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