The last time I made a latke was in 2009, for my out-of-town-guests. The day before I made them, on my birthday actually, I learned about latkes and how to make them at culinary school (Le Cordon Bleu). Since they were SO good, I wanted to share them with my friends who came from out of town to celebrate my big 3-0 in Los Angeles. At the time, I didn’t have a food processor, only a grater. And there were 4 of us, so I made double the recipe. This explains why I hadn’t made them until recently. They can be a pain in the butt if you have to grate them manually. BUT! You will be so happy you did after you eat these. They are crispy on the outside, a bit creamy in the center, you can taste a delicate onion and potato flavor; combine that with sour “cream” and apple sauce and it is absolutely divine. I love the combination of flavors: a little salty, a little oniony, sweet, crispy and creamy…ooooh la la. I wish I could have one as I write this, but I have amazing self control so I will wait for another special occasion to have them.
Why did I all of a sudden decide to make them again? Last Sunday, we rolled out of bed late, I picked up my phone and saw a photo of latkes posted by @karenvegan on Instagram. The latkes in the photo triggered a fond memory and inspired me to make them! Since it was already 11:30am, and we had places to go and people to see, I started preparing the latkes and its accouterments as I drank my green smoothie.
Luckily, I had leftover cashew cream in the fridge. I simply added lemon juice to it to make it sour “cream”. If you’ve never made a cashew cream base, here’s what you do… soak maybe 2 handfuls of cashews for 2-3 hours in filtered water. Remove them from the water and into the blender with a little water. Blend for at least a minute. If it’s too thick, add a little more water. It should be creamy in consistency. Really, that’s all I do.
As for the chunky apple sauce, all I did was peel a gala apple and diced it. Placed it in a bowl with about 2 tbsps of water and 2-3 dashes of cinnamon, covered it with a paper towel and nuked it in the microwave for about 5 minutes. Closer to serving time, I added a little coconut palm nectar (like 1/2 tsp) (<– this is not necessary), tossed it and nuked it again for 2 more minutes.
Now for the latke…
Thankfully, Peyman purchased me a food processor for Christmas in 2009 which made grating a breeze. I could simply fit my food processor with a grating attachment and voila! In a flash, my potatoes and onions are as they should be for my latkes. I believe if one has a food processor and grater attachment, one would make more latkes.
I would have never made these if I didn’t have red jacket potatoes (a potato approved by Kimberly Snyder …she considers this potato a beauty food). On a whim, I purchased potatoes and kept them in the fridge. So glad I did!
Peyman never had a latke until last Sunday and he loved the end result. Usually, he’ll give me a nod, some nods, a thumbs up…and/or I have to probe him for answers. I asked him if these blew his mind and he said, “yes”. Great news!
My birthday present, the latke recipe, I received in 2009 is the gift that keeps on giving. I veganized and made the recipe gluten-free. Here it is! Bon appetit!
Serving size 2 – 3
<1 flax egg (1 heaping Tbsp of flax meal with 3 Tbsp filtered water).
About 24 oz. of red jacket potatoes (About 8 small red jacket potatoes or whatever you think is equivalent to 2 large russet potatoes)
1/2 small onion, grated or minced
1 tbsp oat flour
1 tbsp arrowroot starch, optional (if yours doesn’t come together.)
1 tsp salt
3-4 shakes of cayenne pepper
1 tbsp parley, finely chopped
juice from 1/4th of a lemon
Sunflower or other vegetable oil for frying. I used sunflower.
1. Prepare flax egg in a small bowl by mixing together 1 heaping Tbsp of flax meal with 3 Tbsp of filtered water). Set aside until it becomes egg-consistency, about 15 minutes.
2. Peel potatoes and keep them in a bowl of water until ready for grating (to prevent oxidization)
3. Grate the potatoes and place them into a large bowl. Add the lemon juice and salt, toss with your hands to fully combine, and let the mixture sit for 15 minutes.
4. While waiting for the potatoes to release water, grate or finely chop the onion. (I grate it in my food processor because it’s faster for me to do so, but chopping it is just fine). Also, finely chop the parsley.
5. After 15 minutes of letting the potato rest, take a handful of the potatoes and squeeze out the liquid into the same bowl. We want to keep the liquid. Set the dried potato aside onto a plate and repeat with the remaining potatoes. Remember to squeeze into the bowl, not into the sink.
(I would start heating oil in a pan now. I use a saute pan and fill it 1/2 to 1 inch with sunflower oil. Heat on medium to 350 degrees F)
6. Take the bowl of potato liquid and slowly pour the liquid out of the bowl while keeping the white milky potato starch at the bottom of the bowl. This is called decanting. We want to use the starch of the potato to help bind the patties.
7. Add the potatoes back to the starch in the bowl. Add eggs, onion, a dash more of salt, cayenne, oat flour, arrowroot and toss using your hands.
8. Once oil is heated, (you can test by taking a potato strip and putting it into the oil, if it sizzles and bubbles, it’s ready) form patties about 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter and lay into the oil using a spatula, dropping away from you. Alternatively, you can drop the latkes by the spoonful. I like making patties though. Let it cook until golden brown on each side. May take 3-4 minutes on each side. Check for the golden brown color and flip once it’s golden brown. If your patties are looking blackish, it may be that your oil is too hot, so turn down the heat a bit. Once both sides are golden brown, place on a plate, lined with a paper towel. And voila!
I love serving these with an apple compote or apple sauce. Also with a sour “cream”. And to fill our bellies, we always start with a big salad.
I hope you Love these as much as we do! Please let me know what you think!Share on Facebook