by Guest Latke Maven, Chef Laura Frankel


KosherEye is delighted to feature our very talented "Foodie" Friend, Chef Laura Frankel and her ideas for a latke makeover! The following article is from her blog, Laura's Kosher Kitchen. Enjoy!

This Year the Latke Gets a Makeover

I admit to being somewhat of a gastronomic and a culinary discontent. I like to push the envelope and play with an idea or recipe and then move on and do it all over again. The same applies to holiday menus. I love the rituals of the Jewish holidays and the foods, but I do not like the routine recipes that often accompany those dishes. This Hanukkah I am thinking outside the box and mixing it up a bit.

I love the basic latke of potatoes and onions, all crispy and golden brown,  with the aroma of crackling onions and fat topped with a generous dollop of homemade applesauce or sour cream. I could eat a whole platter full of them myself − on the first night.  And then what? We have eight nights to celebrate. So I started thinking −  HOW COULD I MAKE THIS HANUKKAH DIFFERENT FROM ALL OTHERS?

I do not want an ordinary Festival of Lights. I want something spud-tacular. I want a LATKE-PALOOZA. An extraordinary celebration of crispy fried goodness. I am going where no chef has gone before. I am going to create an abundance of delights, a different one for each night of Maccabian Madness.

Latke options are infinite. I can stick with the classic potato and onion cake as my base but I want to add some pizzazz, creating endless variations on the central theme. After all, even the little black dress needs a little “bling.”I am adding carrots, parsnips, celery root, roasted garlic, herbs, and more. These latkes will be so amazing we will want to add nights to the holiday.

I also want to play with the toppings. After all, why limit ourselves to just plain apple sauce and sour cream? Like all classics that just need a little tweak, I am updating the humble applesauce and bringing it to new heights. For Latke-Palooza, I am dolling up the modest condiment with crystallized ginger, pomegranate molasses, mango chunks, and even sweet and gooey caramelized onions. Delish!

Dust off your frying pans and potato graters because if you are like me and love the latke - but sometimes wish for more, enjoy the following recipes for this Hanukkah and celebrate a Latke-Palooza in your home.

Chef Laura’s Latkes (Basic Latke recipe plus six variations), Apple-Cranberry Ginger Sauce, and  Chef Laura’s Garden Variety Latke.

Chef Laura Frankel is Executive Chef for Spertus Kosher Catering. Founder of the adventurous, gourmet kosher Shallots restaurants in Chicago and New York and author of Jewish Cooking For All Seasons and  Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes, she has made it her creative mission to reimagine and revitalize the diverse—and delicious—traditions of Jewish cooking.

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