4 Twists on the Traditional Latke
Chef Zane Caplansky, chef and owner of his eponymous Toronto deli, Caplansky’s, helps make the Festival of Lights even brighter with these delicious recipes.
The miracle of Hanukkah may be that a tiny ration of holy oil lasted eight days, but it’s the potato pancakes we eat for this holiday that get me excited. In my house, we always had classic latkes: made with shredded and grated spuds, chicken fat, matzo meal, salt and pepper, and pan-fried on a cast-iron griddle. Hard to beat-however, for the last four years, I’ve held a latke cook-off at my restaurant, Caplansky’s, in Toronto, which has opened my eyes to a spectrum of possibilities.
Latkepalooza is open to anyone who’ll bring in five dozen of their best potato pancakes. Judging is by popular vote. We’ve seen spicy Mexican latkes; latkes stuffed with meat; big, fat, greasy; and little, thin, crispy latkes, too. I love the colourful ones best of all-they’re so appealing to the eye, and the flavours and textures are exciting. May these past contenders inspire you.
A mixture of sweet potato and regular white potatoes gave a nice golden result. Crisped up perfectly, these were delicious with applesauce.
Beets were shredded with potatoes and pan-fried together. In this case, the star ingredient added sweetness and a gorgeous bright-red hue.
The purple potato latkes were subtler visually than you’d expect, because the flesh was pretty white, but they still came out an interesting shade.
Shredding in some fresh carrot added crunch and lovely orange brightness. These tasty latkes went especially well with a little sour cream.