Whatever you want to call them, they scream CHANUKAH!!! Is it just me or did December just creep up on us. Anyways, I love fried food... but I rarely fry at home- I save it for the occasional appetizer order when we go out :-) Tonight was a fried latke experiment for me- it was my first time making potato latkes. However, I decided to make my own spiced up version of the oily Chanukah boring Idaho potato tradition. I decided to make Sweet Potato Carrot latkes with sage & dill, and I lightly fried them in canola oil. I didn't know if they would come out good, but they DID! Dill is SO versatile, I use it in SO many dishes- fish, chicken, all kinds of salads, dressings, and apparently- latkes! Sage is my new favorite herb, because I bought a big package last week to add to my butternut squash soup for Thanksgiving. So, this is just an effort to use it up. It can be strong, and can be left out if it's not your thing.
My second recipe I call zucchini "fritters" and not latkes because they don't need to be exclusively associated with Chanukah! And when I think "latke" I think Chanukah. I first made them in summer after seeing a recipe in Food Network Magazine (I believe it was Ina Garten's), so my version is a spin on that. They can be made with Parmesan cheese (for that extra added kick), or without, to work them into a meat meal. Shocker- a bunch of dill! Plus, I bake them with a panko crumb topping, so that they get extra golden and crispy, without having to fry them.
Sweet Potato Carrot Latkes with Sage & Dill
-4 small-medium sweet potatoes
-2 small carrots
-1/4 cup panko or cornflake crumbs
-1/2 cup flax meal (preferred brand: Bob's Red Mill. Side note: this flax meal can be bought for a great price at Trader Joe's. It's similar to Wheat Germ, but it's gluten free. I use it in muffins, on top of roasted vegis such as brussel sprouts, combine it with panko or cornflake crumbs for breaded fish or chicken, even sprinkle some into yogurt. It is a great thing to keep on hand, and lasts a while in the freezer. It doesn't lend an enormous amount of flavor, yet it adds texture and a lot of health benefits). You can substitute with flour or more crumbs if you don't have.
-3 tbsp. garlic powder
-2 tbsp. chopped dill
-4 sage leaves, finely chopped
-1 small onion, diced
-salt and pepper
-Canola oil, for frying
-Grate the sweet potatoes and carrots in a food processor, and combine with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. The best way to combine everything is with your hands!! (FYI you can use less panko/flax for a less dense latke).
-In a large saute pan, heat 2-3 tbsp. of canola oil, just enough to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Form patties and fry 2-3 minutes per side, until cooked through.
-Set the latkes on a single layer on paper towels.
-Serve with garlic dill mayonnaise with a sprinkle of fresh lime juice, or apple sauce to play on the sweet.
-Yield: 10 latkes
-3 large zucchinis
-1 tsp. Kosher salt
-1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
-2 tbsp. dried parsley
-1 tbsp. garlic powder
-1 tsp. lemon zest
-1/4 cup flax meal
-1/4 cup panko or cornflake crumbs
-1/4 cup Parmesan, optional (lessen the amount of crumbs used if use Parmesan, because it also works as a binding agent)
-Pinch of black pepper
-Preheat oven to 425 degrees
-Grate the zucchini with a box grater or in a food processor, put into a colander with a tsp. of Kosher salt, and let sit for 15 minutes. This is an important step because it drains the moisture out of the zucchini. Without this step, the fritters will be soggy.
-Once zucchini is drained, combine all the ingredients into a bowl and mix. Do not add extra salt, the salt from the draining process is enough.
-Obviously the fritters can be fried in oil, but I opt to bake them. Coat the fritters on both sides with panko crumbs, and lay the fritters on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil spray. Then, spray all the fritters from far with olive oil spray (so that you don't spray the panko crumbs off the fritters), or drizzle with olive oil (this is when those squeeze bottles come in handy!). Bake 15 minutes, then flip them, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.
-Serve with tomato sauce, or ricotta cheese with lemon zest & dill.
-Yield: 4-6 fritters
Now all I need is a jelly donut & my Chanukah will be complete. Zomicks here I come!