"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Potato Squash Latkes

Happy Chanukah! In order, my favorite Jewish holiday foods are 1. latkes, 2. hamentashen, 3. haroset and 4. chocolate covered matzoh (I'm not sure how traditional 4 is). As a kid, one of my happiest memories is helping my Dad make latkes every Chanukah. It was his responsibility to feed the bottomless pits of our family with his delicious crispy latkes. I remember sitting on stools in our garage and helping him peel the potatoes. I remember him wearing goggles when he cut the onions and sweating like a marathon runner over the hot oil filled skillets that were on all four oven burners. As his apprentice, I usually got first dibs on the first couple of latkes. Then our family would show up and it was every person for him or herself! We always ate ours with sour cream and applesauce only but this year I saw images of latkes with lox and the contrast of textures and flavors seemed, and was, delicious! My friend Andy and I had a little impromptu Chanukah dinner and I made the latkes to match his delicious chicken matzoh ball soup (recipe to come). Because I can probably never make straight up potato latkes taste as good as my Dad's, I have to create new variations. This one was flavorful, crispy and fantastic with all the fixings.

3 large potatoes
2 large yellow squash
1/2 white onion
1 cup flour
3 eggs, I use fake eggs
Canola oil
Garlic powder

Sour cream

1. Peel the potatoes and grate them in a food processor using the grating blade to get tiny thin strips. Grate the squash to get the same size pieces as the potato. Finely chop the onion.
2. In a bowl, mix together the grated potatoes, squash, onions, flour, eggs, garlic powder and pepper.
3. Heat enough canola oil to cover the bottom of a skillet over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add small mounds, about 1/8 cup, of the potato batter to the skillet, flatten with a spatula. Flip when the sides are turning brown and beginning to crisp. A few minutes per side.

4. Line a cooling rack with paper towels and have spare ones to press down on the latkes to remove excess oil. Place fried latkes on the paper towels for a few minutes then place on a plate in the oven to keep warm. Serve warm with sour cream, apple sauce and lox.

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