December 18, 2009

Curried Sweet Potato Latkes

Being Jewish, there are certain names that I hear tossed around all the time. I have an instant recognition of these people, even though I've never met them.

Mel Brooks...
Steven Spielberg...
Barbara Streisand...
Adam Sandler...
Jerry Seinfeld...
Dr. Ruth...
Joan Nathan...

Now, some of you might not recognize that last name. But if you grew up in a household with homemade brisket, challah, matzah ball soup, and any other dishes with Yiddish/Hebrew names, Joan Nathan should be familiar to you. In my humble opinion, she's to Jewish cooking what Paula Deen is to Southern cooking.

Jewish Cooking in America is a staple in many Jewish kitchens. If I'm looking for a classic Jewish recipe (and I can't find it amongst my mom's or Bubbie's collection), I'll turn to Joan Nathan. If I'm about to eat something, and the cook says "Oh, I used Joan Nathan's recipe..." I know it's going to be good. She never lets me down!

These latkes were outstanding. The perfect combination of sweet and spicy, they warmed us up last night even when our house was 50 degrees (busted furnace.) The only complaint I have is that the batter had some sort of chemical reaction to the oil, so by the end of the batch, it was all foamy and didn't fry the last ones very well. That could very well be user-error!
Nonetheless, you should definitely make these. Latkes like shouldn't be saved until Hannukah only. Where's the fun in that?

adapted from Jewish Cooking in America
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk (approximately)
Peanut oil for frying

Grate the sweet potatoes coarsely. In a separate bowl mix the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, cayenne pepper, curry powder, cumin, and salt and pepper.

Add the eggs and just enough milk to the dry ingredients to make a stiff batter. Add the potatoes and mix. The batter should be moist but not runny; if too stiff, add more milk.

Heat 1/4 inch of peanut oil in a frying pan until it is barely smoking. Drop in the batter by tablespoons and flatten. Fry over medium-high heat several minutes on each side until golden. Drain on paper towels and serve.