Sweet Potato Latkes with Lime Crème Fraîche
For Hanukkah, chef Nikki Cascone's family always lights candles in a family menorah that she inherited (but they also have a funky modern one). Though they aren't very religious, they try to carry on Hanukkah traditions and cultural stories — like her mom giving them a gift every morning of the eight days.
Jewish tradition and family are important to Nikki and her husband, and partly inspired them to create their restaurant, Octavia's Porch, which focuses on Jewish cuisine. This recipe is one of the dishes served there.
Latkes usually aren't very healthy, but chef Nikki Cascone uses sweet potatoes to make them a little healthier and drains them well on paper towels to get rid of excess oil.
Click here to see Happy Hanukkah: For the Love of Latkes!
For the lime crème fraîche:
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon lime zest, grated finely
- 1 bunch chives, chopped finely
- 1 cup crème fraîche
For the latkes:
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes
- 1 large Spanish onion, chopped very finely
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1/3 cup flour
- ¼ cup matzah
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Pinch of ancho chile powder
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup canola oil
For the lime crème fraîche:
Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Place in the refrigerator until chilled, to allow all of the flavors to combine.
For the latkes:
Shred the potatoes with the fine shredding attachment of your food processor or a hand grater. Place in a colander set over another bowl and squeeze out the excess moisture as much as possible.
Put the shredded potato in a bowl and add the onion, eggs, flour, and matzah. Season with salt, to taste. Mix in the spices and baking soda.
In a large heavy skillet, heat the canola oil over high heat until very hot but not smoking. Take ¼ cup of batter, squeezing out any remaining moisture, and drop into the hot oil. Flatten with a spatula, and reduce heat to medium. (Don’t put more than a few latkes in the pan at one time or the oil temperature will drop.)
Regulate the heat carefully. Fry until golden brown on one side, then turn over and fry the other side. Don’t turn more than once or they will start to get soggy. Put finished latkes on dry paper towels to drain.
Serve immediately with the lime crème fraîche.
While traditional crema uses heavy cream and buttermilk, I’m using it’s close relative: sour cream. Here’s a few other ingredients you’ll need to complete this recipe.
- Sour Cream: 8 ounces
- Lime: 1 lime zested and juiced
- Garlic: 1 garlic clove, minced
- Salt: 1/4 teaspoon
Choose Your Own Adventure Latkes Are THE Power Hanukkah Move This Year
They’re delicious as is. But they’re even more delicious this way.
It is latke time, which quite frankly, should be all year round. These crispy fried potato pancakes are the perfect food. They can be eaten from breakfast through dinner, from a great swap in for hashed browns to cozying up next to your roasted chicken. They can go sweet, dunked in apple sauce or fruit compote, or savory with sour cream or dip. They can be basic, sprinkled with salt and pepper, or ultra-fancy with crème fraiche and caviar tiny one-bite wonders or giant palm-sized versions they create at the delis. You can make them thin and lacy or thick and hearty.
Even better? Once you know how to latke, you don’t have to stick with basic potato. You can latke with sweet potatoes, Japanese potatoes, purple potatoes. You can latke with any root vegetable from carrots to beets to celeriac to parsnip. You can add in firm fruits like apple or pear. You can switch up your frying fat from canola to duck fat, lard to coconut oil. And you can season with any herb or spice that hits your fancy.
This Hanukkah (and year!), go all-in on latkes of every variety. Find a recipe you love and experiment with the base vegetable, fat, and seasoning combination to your hearts&apos content. Need eight fabulous nights of latkes? Here are eight of our best recipes to inspire you!
Purple Sweet Potato Latkes with Thyme Apple Sauce & Creme Fraiche
Here&rsquos the brilliant thing about latkes: Everyone loves them. Whether you&rsquore celebrating Hanukkah or simply a potato enthusiast, latkes are the perfect addition to every meal. They&rsquore just as stunning on the breakfast counter as they are as your holiday centerpiece, and are certain to bring family and friends together in the sweetest way possible.
With these sweet potato latkes, you get the best of all umami worlds: The dense, mellow sugar of purple sweet potatoes, the earthy tang of onion, and the rootsy power of thyme infused apple sauce. Did I mention the creme fraiche on top? Use sour cream if you prefer, but the thick richness of creme fraiche lends itself particularly well to these potato pancakes.
I chose to use vibrant purple sweet potatoes here, but yams or regular sweet potatoes will serve you just as well.
Happy Hanukkah, and happy holidays, to all!
- 2 1/2 pounds purple or regular sweet potatoes
- 1 onion
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup oil for baking
- 3 apples, cored and peeled
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons honey
- pinch sea salt
- squeeze lemon juice
- 1/3 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Peel potatoes and discard outer layer of onion. Grate potatoes and onion separately, using a food processor or the largest holes on a stand grater. Squeeze any liquid out of potatoes (there won’t be much, sweet potatoes are pretty dry). Squeeze excess liquid out of onion. Mix grated potato and onion in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, sea salt, pepper, and baking soda to incorporate. And in another small bowl, whisk the eggs.
Pour beaten eggs into potato and onion mixture and combine. Gradually add dry ingredients until they’re fully incorporated throughout.
Pour 2/3 of the oil onto the parchment-lined tray, so that there’s enough oil to move around on the tray. Place in oven for 5 minutes to preheat, keeping a watchful eye on the oil and the paper (no grease fires!). Remove from oven and use a pastry brush to evenly distribute oil across all areas of the tray. Add more oil if need be.
Scoop latke mixture onto the preheated tray in 1/4 or 1/3 cup scoops, depending on how large you like your latkes. Pat down so they’re about 1/2” thick. Brush the top of each latke with the reserved oil.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the bottoms are crisp. Then flip the latkes, rotate the tray, and bake another 15-20 minutes.
Remove latkes from heat and place in a single layer on a paper towel. Let drain a few minutes, then serve immediately with thyme apple sauce (instructions follow) and creme fraiche or sour cream.
While the latkes bake, heat apple sauce with slightly crushed fresh thyme leaves in a small sauce pan over low heat. Stir occasionally, heating until the sauce becomes aromatic, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Lovely Latkes, Thanksgivukkah-Style
Take two classic holiday comfort foods, latkes and sweet potato casserole combine them into one Thanksgivukkah-appropriate superdish and the results are just as you might expect: expletive-inducing deliciousness. Generously dollop each oil-kissed fritter with tangy crème fraiche and a throat-tingling hybrid dish of its own, cranberry horseradish sauce, and it may just be the best thing to grace your Thanksgiving table. Enough talk. Trust me: you want the ridiculously tasty recipe.
Sweet potato latke with lime creme fraiche
For lime creme fraiche:Make this by mixing all ingredients together in a bowl and placing in the fridge, allowing all the flavors to combine.
For latkes: Shred the potatoes with the fine shredding attachment of your food processor or hand grater.
Place in a colander and squeeze out the excess moisture as much as possible.
Put the shredded potato in a bowl and add the onions, eggs, matzoh, flour and salt to taste.
Mix in desired spices, in this case cinnamon, chili powder, nutmeg and baking soda.
In a large heavy skillet, heat 1/4 of canola oil over high heat until very hot but not smoking.
Squeeze 1/ 4 cup of batter one more time and drop into hot oil.
Don’t put more then a few in the pan at one time.
Regulate the heat carefully.
Fry until golden brown on one side, then turn over and fry the other side.
24 Unique Gifts That Dad Will Actually Love
To join our Systemic Equality agenda to take action on racial justice, click here.
Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.
Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?
“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."
On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.
Baked Sweet Potatoes with Maple Crème Fraîche
We all adore certain pantry staples. Kefir and crème fraîche are two of my favorites. I’ve been testing new ways to improve on roasting sweet potatoes in the oven, and I found that a combination of steaming and roasting works great for a dish like this for both the texture and the extra set of aroma molecules that comes through. The first step, partial steaming, keeps the moisture inside the sweet potato while cooking, and the second step, uncovered roasting, helps create a robust flavor profile. I recommend using fragrant nuts. Toasted hazelnuts are a good substitute for the peanuts.
The Flavor Approach: Butter works as the fat of choice here due to its higher smoke point. As the butter melts, it separates into its constituents—fat, water, sugars, and milk solids—which undergo caramelization and the Maillard reaction.
The sugars concentrate as the water evaporates during cooking. Fish sauce adds a spot of umami to the sauce, you can use vegan fish sauce as an alternative. The peanuts and scallions provide crunch against the softer textures of the potato and the dressing.
- Author: Nik Sharma
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1 x
- Category: vegetables
- Method: baked
- Cuisine: American
For the sweet potatoes:
4 sweet potatoes (each 7 oz ), preferably a yellow-fleshed variety such as Garnet or Jewel
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the dressing:
½ cup crème fraîche or sour cream
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons fish sauce (optional)
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, both green and white parts
2 tablespoon roasted peanuts
1 teaspoon red chilli flakes, such as Aleppo, Maras, or Urfa
- To prepare the sweet potatoes, preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Rinse and scrub the sweet potatoes under running tap water. Slice them lengthwise and place them in a roasting pan, cut side facing up. Brush with the butter and season with salt. Cover the pan with a sheet of aluminum foil and press around the edges to seal snugly. Bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the foil, flip the sweet potatoes, and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes more, until the sweet potatoes are cooked thoroughly and are tender a knife inserted into the center of the sweet potato should slide through easily. Remove from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes.
- To prepare the dressing, in a small bowl, combine the crème fraîche, maple syrup, lime juice, fish sauce, if using, and pepper. Taste and season with salt.
- To serve, top the warm roasted potatoes with a few tablespoons of the maple crème fraîche dressing. Sprinkle with the scallions, peanuts, red chilli flakes, and lime zest. Serve with the extra dressing on the side.
Reprinted from The Flavor Equation by Nik Sharma with permission by Chronicle Books, 2020. Photo: Nik Sharma
Keywords: sweet potatoes, creme fraiche, maple syrup, flavor equation, nik sharma
The Flavor Approach
Butter works as the fat of choice here due to its higher smoke point. As the butter melts, it separates into its constituents — fat, water, sugars, and milk solids — which undergo caramelization and the Maillard reaction. The sugars concentrate as the water evaporates during cooking. Fish sauce adds a spot of umami to the sauce, you can use vegan fish sauce as an alternative. The peanuts and scallions provide crunch against the softer textures of the potato and the dressing.
- 1 large sweet potato (1 pound), peeled
- 1/2 cup matzo meal
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup milk
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche
- 1 1/4 teaspoons wasabi paste
- 1 1/4 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup peppery sprouts, such as radish sprouts
- 2 ounces wasabi tobiko (see Note)
In a food processor or on a box grater, coarsely grate the sweet potato. In a large bowl, combine the matzo meal with the sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, cayenne and pepper. Stir in the egg, egg white and milk. Stir in the sweet potato.
In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until shimmering. Drop packed teaspoons of the sweet potato 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 sweet potato mixture, adding more oil as needed.
In a small bowl, mix the crème fraîche with the wasabi paste, rice vinegar and salt. Arrange the latkes on a platter and top each one with the wasabi cream, a pinch of sprouts and a little tobiko. Serve warm.