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Melissa Clark Shares 5 Different Ways to Make Latkes for Hanukkah

·5-min read
Latkes
Latkes

Greg DuPree

Hanukkah is in full swing and there's nothing more delicious to celebrate with than a hot and crispy latke.

You likely have a go-to family recipe, but why not switch it up a little? PEOPLE enlisted the help of Melissa Clark, author of the upcoming Dinner in One cookbook, to offer delicious spins on the traditional Jewish dish.

Pick from unique twists — like sweet potato, carrot, or zucchini latkes — or go traditional, they're all here.

Clark's directions for frying the potato pancakes are the same for each, so simply pick your favorite flavor combination then come back to the instructions below.

How to Fry Latkes

Heat a medium skillet over medium high; pour in olive oil to a depth of about ¼ inch. Once the oil is hot (a drop of water should sizzle), drop 3 to 4 heaping tablespoons of latke batter into the skillet. Use a spatula to flatten potato mounds into disks. Cook until edges are crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip latkes, and cook until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes more. (Reduce heat slightly if latkes brown too quickly.) Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate; sprinkle warm latkes with salt. Repeat with remaining batter.

RELATED: 41 Cookie Recipes to Sweeten Up Your Holiday Season

Sweet Potato and Apple Latkes with Cranberry Sauce

1 ½ cups fresh cranberries
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 large sweet potato, peeled and quartered lengthwise
1 medium-size Granny Smith apple, peeled and quartered
½ medium-size yellow onion, quartered
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

1. Bring cranberries, sugar and ½ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium high, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of cranberries burst, about 10 minutes. Transfer sauce to a medium bowl, and cool.

2. Using a food processor fitted with coarse grating disk, process potato, apple and onion until grated. Transfer mixture to a clean dish towel, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

3. Working quickly, transfer mixture to a large bowl. Stir in flour, eggs, baking powder, nutmeg, pepper and 1¼ teaspoons salt until combined.

4. Fry latkes (see directions, above). Top with a spoonful of cranberry sauce.

Potato and Zucchini Latkes with Herbed Yogurt Sauce

1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (not Greek yogurt)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
1 ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
2 medium zucchini, trimmed and quartered lengthwise
3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered lengthwise
½ medium-size yellow onion, quartered
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper

1. Stir together yogurt, dill and garlic. Season with salt to taste.

2. Using a food processor fitted with coarse grating disk, process zucchini until grated. Transfer to a bowl, and toss with ½ teaspoon salt. Let stand 10 minutes. Process potatoes and onion until grated. Transfer potato mixture to a clean dish towel. Drain zucchini, and add to towel; squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

3. Working quickly, transfer mixture to a large bowl. Stir in flour, egg, baking powder, pepper and ¾ teaspoon salt until combined.

4. Fry latkes (see directions, above). Top with a dollop of yogurt-dill sauce.

Sweet Potato Latkes with Spiced Sour Cream and Candied Ginger

1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
1 ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
2 medium-size sweet potatoes (about 1 lb.), peeled and quartered lengthwise
½ medium-size yellow onion, quartered
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger

1. Whisk together sour cream, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and ½ teaspoon salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Using a food processor fitted with coarse grating disk, process potatoes and onion until grated. Transfer mixture to a clean dish towel, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

3. Working quickly, transfer mixture to a large bowl. Stir in flour, eggs, baking powder, pepper and 1¼ teaspoons salt until combined.

4. Fry latkes (see directions, above). Top with a small dollop of sour cream mixture and a sprinkle of crystallized ginger.

RELATED: The USDA Says It's No Longer Safe to Eat Thanksgiving Leftovers

Potato Latkes with Apple Sauce and Sour Cream

2 large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered lengthwise
½ medium-size yellow onion, quartered
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
Apple sauce
Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

1. Using a food processor with a coarse grating disk, process the potato and onion until grated (or grate them by hand on the largest holes of a box grater). Transfer the mixture to a clean dish towel, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

2. Working quickly, transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the flour, egg, salt, baking powder and pepper until combined.

3. Fry latkes (see directions, above). Top with applesauce and a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.

Potato & Carrot Latkes with Golden Raisin Relish

½ cup golden raisins
¼ cup boiling water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon fresh juice
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 ¼ teaspoons fine sea salt
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into large sticks
1 large russet potato, peeled and quartered lengthwise
½ medium-size yellow onion, quartered
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Plain Greek yogurt

1. Place raisins and boiling water in a small bowl; let raisins soak 10 minutes. Drain and coarsely chop raisins; transfer to a bowl. Add cilantro, lemon zest, lemon juice, cumin, cayenne and a pinch of salt, and toss. Set aside.

2. Using a food processor fitted with coarse grating disk, process carrots, potato and onion until grated. Transfer mixture to a clean dish towel, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

3. Working quickly, transfer mixture to a bowl. Stir in flour, egg, baking powder, pepper and 1¼ teaspoon salt.

4. Fry latkes (see directions, above). Top each latke with yogurt and a spoonful of raisin relish.

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