This year instead of hosting a formal Hanukkah dinner, invite friends over for a festive happy hour. Serve guests a selection of vegetable latkes with a buffet of traditional toppings like applesauce, sour cream, and smoked salmon.
Classic potato latkes are delicious alongside cauliflower curry latkes. Zucchini latkes with red pepper jelly and smoked trout add a touch of elegant sophistication to the menu. Spinach latkes with feta-yogurt sauce are original and unexpected. For these recipes, read more.
2 (about 1 1/4 pounds) all-purpose or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 medium white onion, finely grated
8 scallion greens, finely slivered
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
- Over a large bowl of cold water, grate potatoes into long strips, using the largest holes of a box grater. Transfer grated potatoes from water into another bowl. Pour off water from first bowl, reserving sediment. Add sediment to potatoes.
- Add eggs, onion, and scallion greens. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well by hand.
- Fill a large heavy-bottomed frying pan with 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch of oil until very hot, about 385 degrees.
- Drop 1 heaping tablespoonful of potato mixture into the pan. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes; the pan should hold five or six latkes per batch. Turn latkes over, and cook on the other side until golden brown, about another 3 minutes.
- Latkes can be transferred to a baking sheet and kept warm in a 200 degrees.oven for up to a half hour before serving.
1 lb. head cauliflower
2 lb. russet potatoes, peeled
2 large onions, about 1 lb.
2-1/4 to 2-1/2 cups matzo meal
2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. kosher salt or 3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, optional
3 eggs, beaten
Peanut or cooking oil for frying
- Break cauliflower into 1/2-inch florets; reserve stems. In stockpot bring 6 cups water to boiling. Add a dash of salt and florets; cook for 3 minutes. Drain; cool in iced water. Drain again; pat dry.
- Meanwhile, in a food processor finely shred cauliflower stems; transfer to bowl. Finely shred potatoes and onions; add to stems. Stir in 34 cup matzo meal, curry powder, cumin, coriander, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add eggs; mix well. Stir in florets and enough matzo meal (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup) until mixture holds together.
- Form cauliflower mixture in patties, using about 3 tablespoons for each. Place remaining 1 cup matzo meal in shallow dish; dip patties in matzo meal; set aside.
- In a skillet heat 1/4 inch of oil until a little cauliflower mixture dropped in oil sizzles. Carefully add 4 patties to hot oil. Fry over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden. Drain on paper towels. Keep latkes warm in 300 degree F oven. Repeat with remaining patties. Serve warm.
Makes about 24 latkes.
1 pound medium zucchini
1 large baking potato (3/4 pound), peeled
1 small onion (4 ounces), peeled
1/2 cup matzo meal
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup red pepper jelly
3 ounces skinless smoked trout fillet, coarsely chopped
2 ounces golden trout roe (see Note)
3 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
- Halve the zucchini crosswise. Cut the zucchini flesh off the seedy center and coarsely grate it in a food processor. Or grate it on a box grater until you reach the seedy center. Discard the center. In a food processor or on a box grater, coarsely grate the potato and onion. Transfer the grated zucchini, potato and onion to a colander and squeeze dry. Let stand for 2 minutes, then squeeze again. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a large bowl. Add the matzo meal, egg, lemon juice, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until shimmering. Drop packed teaspoons of the zucchini mixture into the skillet and flatten them with the back of a spoon. Cook the latkes over moderately high heat until the edges are golden, about 1 1/2 minutes; flip and cook until golden on the bottom, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining zucchini mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.
- Arrange the latkes on a platter and top each one with a dollop of sour cream and a little red pepper jelly, smoked trout and golden trout roe; sprinkle with the scallion greens. Serve warm.
Makes about 4 dozen 1 1/2 inch latkes.
4 tablespoons (or more) butter
1 cup chopped green onions
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, squeezed dry
1/3 cup (packed) crustless challah or other egg-bread pieces
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
4 large eggs, beaten to blend
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons (or more) olive oil
Feta-Yogurt Sauce, recipe below
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add green onions and garlic; sauté until onions are soft, about 2 minutes. Add spinach and sauté until liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool completely.
- Blend challah in processor to fine crumbs. Add spinach mixture and dill and process, using on/off turns, until spinach is finely chopped. Transfer to large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in eggs and baking powder.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches, drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls into skillet, using back of spoon to flatten latkes slightly. Cook until brown, about 2 minutes per side. Using slotted spatula, transfer latkes to paper towels to drain. Add more butter and oil to skillet as necessary and allow to get hot before adding more batter.
- Transfer latkes to plates. Serve, passing Feta-Yogurt Sauce separately.
Makes about 30.
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Using fork, mash feta cheese in small bowl. Mix in remaining ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Sauce can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.
Makes about 1 cup.