Photo: Jennifer Causey; Food Styling: Catherine Crowell Steele; Prop Styling: Thom Driver
No Hanukkah celebration is complete without latkes. Go classic potato for the first night, and then try borscht-inspired beet, cheesy cauliflower and Gruyère, and earthy-sweet carrot and curry variations on the other nights. The trick to crispy cakes with less oil is to start with a very dry grated potato mixture: Drain well, and then squeeze in a clean kitchen towel. The frying oil may get too hot during successive batches; remove pan from heat for a minute or two, and lower the temperature as needed.
Serves 8 (serving size: 2 latkes and 1 1/2 tbsp. sour cream)
1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
2. Combine grated potatoes and onion in a colander; drain 15 minutes, pressing mixture occasionally with a spoon to extract liquid. Place potato mixture in a clean kitchen towel; squeeze out excess liquid. Place potato mixture in a bowl.
3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Add flour, salt, and pepper to potato mixture, stirring to combine. Stir egg and egg white into potato mixture.
4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add 5 teaspoons oil; swirl to coat. Spoon potato mixture loosely into a 1/4-cup dry measuring cup, filling about two-thirds full. Add mixture to pan, and flatten slightly. Repeat procedure 4 times to form 5 latkes. Cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Place latkes on a baking sheet; keep warm in oven at 250°F. Repeat procedure twice with remaining 10 teaspoons oil and remaining potato mixture, adding an extra latke to the pan during the last batch to yield 16 latkes total. Serve latkes warm with sour cream.
Beet and Beet Green Latkes: Substitute 2 cups grated peeled red beets (about 11 oz.) for 2 cups shredded baking potato; drain with onion. Place 2 cups beet greens in a saucepan filled with boiling water; cook 1 minute. Plunge greens into a bowl filled with ice water; drain. Squeeze dry with paper towels; coarsely chop. Add beet greens to drained potato mixture with flour, salt, pepper, egg, and egg white. Cook latkes according to base recipe; keep warm. Combine 3/4 cup light sour cream with 1 1/2 Tbsp. minced fresh dill and 1 1/4 tsp. prepared white horseradish; serve with latkes.
SERVES 8 (serving size: 2 latkes and about 2 Tbsp. sour cream mixture) CALORIES 218; FAT 12g (sat 2.4g, mono 6.5g, poly 2.8g); PROTEIN 5g; CARB 23g; FIBER 3g; SUGARS 4g (est. added sugars 0g); CHOL 31mg; IRON 2mg; SODIUM 334mg; CALC 68mg
Cheesy Cauliflower Latkes: Omit 2 cups shredded baking potato from potato-onion mixture; drain. Place 12 oz. cauliflower florets in a food processor; pulse until finely ground. Add cauliflower to drained potato mixture. Chop green parts from 1 bunch green onions; add to potato mixture (reserve white parts of green onions for another use). Stir 1 1/2 oz. grated Gruyère cheese (about 1/3 cup), flour, salt, pepper, egg, and egg white into potato mixture. Cook latkes according to base recipe; keep warm. Combine 3/4 cup light sour cream with 3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper; serve with latkes.
SERVES 8 (serving size: 2 latkes and 1 1/2 Tbsp. sour cream mixture) CALORIES 234; FAT 13.8g (sat 3.5g, mono 7.1g, poly 2.8g); PROTEIN 7g; CARB 22g; FIBER 2g; SUGARS 2g (est. added sugars 0g); CHOL 37mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 330mg; CALC 118mg
Curried Carrot Latkes: Substitute 2 cups grated carrots for 2 cups shredded baking potato; drain with onion. Add 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1/2 tsp. curry powder, 1/2 tsp. garam masala, and 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper to potato mixture with flour and salt (omit pepper). Stir egg and egg white into mixture. Cook latkes according to base recipe. Combine 3/4 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt with 1/3 cup grated cucumber; serve with latkes.
SERVES 8 (serving size: 2 latkes and about 2 Tbsp. yogurt mixture) CALORIES 193; FAT 10g (sat 1.2g, mono 5.8g, poly 2.7g); PROTEIN 5g; CARB 21g; FIBER 2g; SUGARS 4g (est. added sugars 0g); CHOL 25mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 286mg; CALC 42mg