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Guest Blog: Latkes 2 Ways, with Applesauce

Hey there beautiful humans, 

I'm Amber's neighbor (aka PaleoChick) and I have some tasty tasty fried things to share with you.  Brace yourself for a food-gasm (And abundant, unnecessary parentheses. Because I like them).

But first a little backstory. For a glorious week beginning with Thanksgiving I decided to explore my cultural roots and dive into the wonderful world of traditional Chanukah/Hanukkah/Channukkah? foods (I haven't a clue how to properly spell it, just keep adding consonants and you'll get there eventually).  What followed were days and days of braided challah loaves, pinwheeled rugelach, horseradish-laden kale, and a veritable rainbow of roasted root veggies (with olive oil of course - it's all about the oil after all).  But most importantly, there were mountains of latkes.

If you have a similar cultural background to me you likely stopped reading at some point and mentally shouted at me that the Festival of Lights actually began on sundown the day *before* Thanksgiving, but I have a tenuous and highly skewed understanding of time (I prefer millennia over decades, and as for days... well, those are incomprehensible at best).  

Anywho, you're probably wanting to read about the important bits right about now, so on to the fried potatoey goodness!


Traditional Latkes:

1 lb.  grated potatoes (~1 large or two medium 'taters) - yukon gold or russet are my favorites, but make sure to peel any thick skinned varieties
1 small onion, grated
1/4 c brown rice flour
1.5 tsps egg replacer + 2 Tbs H2O
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper


 Sweet Potato & Apple Latkes: (not pictured)

Roughly a half to a whole yam (depending on how big the sucker is), peeled & grated
1 medium tart apple, peeled & grated
1/2 small onion, grated
1/4 c brown rice flour
1.5 tsps egg replacer + 2 Tbs H2O (you may need to add more egg to make up for the extra bulk in this recipe, play it by ear)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper 


1. Grate potatoes, onion, & apples
2. Once you've grated up all the necessary items dump them onto a clean kitchen towel and gather up the edges. Hold this over the sink and wring towel to expel water from the potatoes and apples.  

3. Put drained potatoes/onions/apples into a bowl, add in the remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. This mixture won't be as wet as a batter or as dry as a pile of uncooked hash browns- it should be somewhere in the middle.  

4. Put a coat of your favorite high heat tolerant oil into a (preferably cast iron) skillet. I used plain ol' Olive Oil (not the extra virgin stuff), and found that two turns around the skillet is enough oil to fry one batch.

5. Get the oil nice and hot.  Also get your oven running at about 200.
6. Spoon up some latke mix*, place in the hot pan, and smoosh the piles out into discs.

7. Give your lovely potato creations a few minutes to crisp up. Once browned on one side they'll freely move around the pan when shaken instead of sticking.  At this point flip them over and fry the other side.

8. Once latkes are golden on both sides remove them from the skillet, dump onto a baking sheet, and place in the 200 degree oven until you are ready to serve.  Yam latkes can take a few minutes longer than traditional ones, so either cook them in the skillet a bit longer or crank up the oven a skosh and bake them while you make other gorgeous foods to round out the meal.

9.  Serve latkes with Super Simple Applesauce (see below), make hot toddies, and invite Amber over.  If Bandman joins ya make sure to whip up a double batch on account of his latke love.

*Both Latke recipes make anywhere from 4 gigantic plate hogging latkes to 1 doz. very little ones. I like somewhere in the middle for about 8 just right latkes and to get this size I use a very heaping spoonful of mixture (or about half-of-my-palm's worth before smooching) per latke.

Super Simple Applesauce

2-3 Apples (mix of tart and sweet varieties)
Cinnamon & Sugar, to taste

Okay, so there are two ways you can go about breaking down your festive fruits. Either cube the apples and give 'em a spin in a food processor, or grate them up- making sure to reserve the juice.  I've done both and I enjoy the grated version more, but I'm sure there are plenty of applesauce-makin folks out there who like their sauce a little more on the pureed side.  Once you've deconstructed the apples in your preferred method, cook them down in a saucepan over medium heat.  Grated apples will take longer to get all tender, while the pureed apples really just need warmed up and spiced.  Add reserved apple juice, a touch of ground cinnamon (and other lovely fall spices if you wish), and sugar.  Taste, adjust, and serve alongside latkes.



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