Sweet Potato Latkes for Thanksgivukkah!
Ingredients for latkes:
- 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
- 1 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs (regular or panko)
- 1 Tablespoon potato starch
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
- Olive, grapeseed or peanut oil for frying
Ingredients for Brown Sugar syrup:
- 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch of salt
Ingredients for Candied Pecans:
- 2 cups raw pecans or other nuts
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 Tablespoon water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Peel the potatoes, then grate them using a hand grater or food processor shredding attachment with fine holes (small shreds). Place potato shreds in the center of a clean tea towel or multiple layers of cheesecloth. Wrap the shreds up in the cloth, twisting the cloth to secure the bundle, and squeeze firmly to remove excess liquid from the shreds. Pour potato into a clean, dry bowl.
- Pour oil into skillet to a depth of 1/8 inch. Heat slowly over medium to about 365 degrees F.
- While oil is heating, stir the breadcrumbs, beaten eggs, potato starch, salt, cinnamon and curry powder into the potato shreds. Take care to make sure the egg and seasonings are fully mixed throughout the potato shreds. Let the mixture rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Scoop up 4 tablespoons of the potato mixture. I do this by using a 1/4 cup measuring cup. Squeeze the mixture firmly in your palm over an empty dish to remove any excess liquid (if you squeezed the potatoes out thoroughly in the cloth, you may not have much excess liquid to squeeze out). Shape the potato mixture into a tightly compacted disk. Place the disk carefully into the hot oil. Latkes can break apart at this point, they’re very delicate. The oil should sizzle but not pop when the latke hits it; if the oil jumps wildly or smokes, it is too hot. If it only bubbles weakly, the oil is not hot enough. Use the first latke to test the oil temperature, and don’t fry a whole batch until the temperature is right.
- Continue shaping the latkes in this way, using 4 tablespoons of potato mixture for each latke. Fry in a few separate batches, but be sure not to crowd the pan, for 2-3 minutes per side till brown and crispy. Note: If your latkes aren’t holding together, stir more potato starch into the mixture, 2 teaspoons at a time, till the batter “holds.” You can also add another egg to the mixture and more panko, if needed. Remove the latkes from the pan using metal spatula and place them on a wire cooling rack or a sheet tray lined with paper towels to drain.
- To make Brown Sugar Syrup: In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, water and salt. Bring mixture a boil, whisking regularly. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in 1 tsp vanilla. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
- To make Cayenne Candied Pecans: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg white, water, sugar and salt until foamy. Add nuts and toss to evenly coat. Add spices and toss again. Remove nuts from bowl using a slotted spoon and spread them evenly on a sheet tray lined with foil or a silicone baking sheet. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until browned. Once cool, pulse the nuts in a food processor until they are roughly chopped. This can also be done by chopping them with a knife. They can be served whole if you prefer.
- Drizzle the sweet potato latkes lightly with brown sugar syrup and sprinkle with the cayenne candied nuts, if desired. Serve.