Articles by Norene  

Lots of Latkes!
by Norene Gilletz

To simplify your latke love a-fare we've combined all our latke recipes onto one page. Read, cook and enjoy!

No-Fry Latkes | No-Fry Sweet Potato Latkes | Mini Veggie Latkes

Smashed Potato "Latkes" | Easy Potato Latkes

Love Those Latkes!

Whether you spell them latkas or latkes, they are absolutely luscious! Here are some simple secrets for success.

Although potato latkes are a traditional Chanukah treat, why not experiment with other vegetables such as zucchini, sweet potatoes, carrots and spinach?

I like to use Idaho (russet) potatoes because they are higher in starch, with a lower water content. You can also use red potatoes or Yukon Golds successfully.

The processor grates potatoes in a flash! Immediately add grated onions - the onion juice forms a barrier against the oxygen, preventing the potatoes from turning black.

Some cooks like to rinse the grated potatoes in a colander, squeezing them dry. You can also crush half of a Vitamin C tablet and add it to the grated potatoes to keep the mixture white.

Lighten up! Instead of frying, bake latkes for a lower-fat version.  Alternatively, use a non-stick skillet and a minimum of oil. I find olive oil gives a wonderful flavor.

Latkes can be made in advance and frozen. After cooking, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. When frozen, wrap them well. To save space when freezing or reheating latkes, stand them upright in a loaf pan, like soldiers! Reheat them uncovered at 375°F for about 10 minutes, until crispy and piping hot.

Serve latkes with applesauce, sour cream (regular or low-fat) or a dollop of yoghurt. Top with thinly sliced smoked salmon and a sprig of dill for an elegant appetizer.

Happy Chanukah! (Visit www.aish.com/holidays for this year's dates)


Latke Recipes from Healthy Helpings by Norene GilletzNo-Fry Latkes 
Source: Healthy Helpings

Enjoy! If you prefer to fry latkes instead of baking them, don't add oil to the latke mixture as directed below. Use a non-stick skillet and fry latkes in a little oil, about 2 tsp. per batch. Drain on paper towels to absorb oil.

One no-fry latke contains just 1 gram of fat, compared to 2.7 grams for the fried version!

4 tsp. canola or vegetable oil, divided
4 or 5 medium Idaho potatoes (2 lb./1 kg.)
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic, if desired
1 tbsp. fresh dill (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 egg & 2 egg whites (or 2 eggs), lightly beaten
1/4 c. flour (white or whole wheat)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

*1. Place oven racks on the lowest and middle positions in your oven. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil. Spray each baking sheet lightly with non-stick spray, then brush each baking sheet with 1 tsp. of oil. (This provides a crispy exterior to the latke.)

2. Peel potatoes or scrub them well if you don't want to peel them. Grate potatoes. (The processor does this quickly.) Transfer them to another bowl. Use the processor to finely mince onion, garlic and dill. Add potatoes, egg, egg whites and remaining 2 tsp. of oil to the processor. Mix using quick on/off turns. Add remaining ingredients and mix briefly. If over-processed, potatoes will be too fine.

3. Drop mixture by rounded spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Flatten slightly with the back of the spoon to form latkes. Bake uncovered at 450°F for 10 minutes, or until bottoms are nicely browned and crispy. Turn latkes over. Transfer pan from the upper rack to the lower rack and vice versa. Bake about 8 to 10 minutes longer, or until brown. Best when served immediately.

*Note: Alternatively, line the pan with parchment paper, such as Chefs Select. Bake uncovered at 425°F for 12 minutes. Ensure the paper does not extend beyond the baking sheet or touch the walls of the oven.

Yield: 2 dozen medium latkes or 6 dozen minis.

Serve with applesauce, low-fat sour cream or yogurt topped with minced lox and chives. Latkes freeze well.

Nutritional Information:

36 calories per medium latke, 1 g fat (0.1 saturated), 9 mg cholesterol, 1 g protein, 6 g carbohydrate, 92 mg sodium, 143 mg potassium, trace iron, <1 g fiber, 10 mg calcium.

NO-FRY SWEET POTATO LATKES
Prepare latkes as directed above, but use 1 large sweet potato, 2 Idaho potatoes and 2 eggs plus 2 egg whites (or 3 eggs). One latke contains 50 calories, 1.3 g fat and 18 mg cholesterol.


Latke recipes from Norene's Healthy Kitchen by Norene GilletzMINI VEGGIE LATKES WITH SMOKED SALMON AND TZATZIKI

Source: Norene's Healthy Kitchen

Makes about 4 dozen

Don't bother peeling the potatoes, Gilletz says: Just scrub them. And if you don't have or like sweet potato, use another Idaho.

1 medium onion, cut into chunks
1 Idaho potato, cut into chunks
1 medium sweet potato, cut into chunks
1 carrot, cut into chunks
1 medium zucchini, cut into chunks
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
2 eggs, or 1 egg plus two egg whites
1/3 cup (75 mL) matzo meal or whole-wheat breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons (30 mL) chopped fresh dill
3 to 4 tablespoons (45 to 60 mL) olive oil, for frying (plus more as needed)
1 cup (250 mL) tzatziki (see note)
1/4 pound (125 g) smoked salmon, cut into bite-size pieces
Additional dill, for garnish

In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process the vegetables in batches until finely minced, 8 to 10 seconds.

Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and add the eggs, matzo meal, salt, pepper and dill and mix well. Spray a large nonstick frying pan with cooking spray, add 1 tablespoon (15 mL) oil and heat over medium-high heat. Drop the batter from a teaspoon into the hot oil to form pancakes. Don't crowd the pan. Flatten each latke slightly with the back of the spoon, reduce heat to medium and brown well on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove latkes from the pan as ready and drain on paper towels. Add more oil to the pan as needed and stir batter before cooking each new batch of latkes. If latkes are for immediate consumption, keep them warm in a 250-degree (120C) oven.

(Otherwise, latkes keep well in fridge for up to 2 days and freeze well for up to a month. Reheat, uncovered in a preheated 400 degree F/200C oven for about 10 minutes, or until crispy. No need to defrost first.)

When ready to serve, arrange latkes on a platter and top each with a dollop of tzatziki, smoked salmon and a sprig of dill.

Variations: Instead of zucchini, you could use 1 10-ounce (300 g) package of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry.

If you'd prefer to bake these mini latkes instead of frying them, place oven racks on lowest and middle position and preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230C). Drop the latke mixture by the teaspoon onto well-oiled baking sheets and flatten slightly. Bake 10 minutes or until bottoms are browned and crispy. Turn latkes over, switch pans - bottom to middle and vice versa - and bake 8 to 10 minutes more.

Note: To make your own tzatziki, peel and grate 1 medium English cucumber, place in a strainer and press gently to drain excess liquid. Mix with 3 to 4 finely chopped green onions, 1 or 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 cup (50 mL) minced fresh dill or mint, salt and freshly ground pepper and 11/2 cups (375 mL) sour cream. (For a lower-fat version, make yogourt cheese by draining low-fat yogourt through a coffee filter in a strainer over a bowl in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours.) Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Approximate nutritional content per 4 mini latkes:

Calories....................................120
Protein.....................................5 g
Fat...........................................6 g
Carbohydrates.........................12 g
Dietary fibre..............................1 g
Sodium..............................315 mg

More recipes from Norene's Healthy Kitchen in the review in the Montreal Gazette


Latke recipes from Norene's Healthy Kitchen by Norene GilletzSMASHED POTATO “LATKES”
Source: Norene's Healthy Kitchen

A no-grate alternative to potato latkes, these are a wonderful way to get rid of your frustration— just smash away. Baby red-skinned new potatoes have a lower glycemic index than baking potatoes. Small potatoes—big potassium count.

8 baby red-skinned potatoes (2 to 21/2 inches in diameter)
Salted water
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive or canola oil
1/2 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp lemon pepper (or to taste)
Dried basil, garlic powder, onion powder, and/or paprika

1. Boil the potatoes in salted water to cover for 15 to 20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain well. (If desired, the potatoes can be prepared in advance up to this point and refrigerated for a day or two.)

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

3. Place the potatoes in a single layer about 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Cover one potato with a piece of parchment paper. Smash it once or twice with the flat part of the palm of your hand, making a flat disc about 4 inches in diameter. Round off any ragged edges by pushing them together with your fingers. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.

4. Brush the tops of the smashed potatoes lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and crispy. If desired, turn over the potatoes halfway through the cooking process.

Yield: 8 potatoes. Recipe doubles or triples easily. Reheats well. Don’t freeze.

139 calories per potato, 27.0 g carbohydrate, 2.5 g fiber, 3 g protein, 2.0 g fat (0.3 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 156 mg sodium, 752 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 13 mg calcium 

* All Season Smashers: Sprinkle potatoes lightly with your favorite seasonings such as seasoning salt or coarse salt, rosemary, dillweed, or thyme. Bake as directed.

* Loxy “Latkes”: Buy the smallest baby potatoes you can find; prepare and bake as directed. To serve, arrange on a serving platter and top each “latke” with a dollop of light sour cream, a slice of smoked salmon, and a sprig of dillweed. Dill-icious!

More recipes from Norene's appearance on Canada AM on Dec. 22, 2008


Recipes for latkes from the Food Processor Bible by Norene GilletzEASY POTATO LATKES
Adapted from The Food Processor Bible

I usually use Idaho (russet) potatoes, but to make them more nutritious and lower their glycemic index, you can make them with Purple Sweeties, which are purple-peel sweet potatoes with cream-colored flesh. Serve latkes with applesauce, yogurt or light sour cream. 

4 medium potatoes peeled or scrubbed (or substitute Purple Sweeties)
1 medium onion
2 eggs (or 1 egg plus 2 egg whites)
1/3 cup flour or matzo meal
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp oil (plus more as needed for frying latkes)

Cut potatoes in chunks and onion in half. Place in processor with eggs. Process on the Steel Blade until pureed, 20 to 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients except oil; process a few seconds longer to blend into a smooth mixture.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Drop potato mixture into hot oil by large spoonfuls to form pancakes; brown well on both sides. Drain well on paper towels. Add additional oil to pan as needed. Stir batter before cooking each new batch. Latkes can be placed on a parchment-lined baking sheet and kept warm in a 250 degree F oven. 

(To bake latkes instead of frying, place oven racks on lowest and middle positions in oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Drop potato mixture by spoonfuls onto well-oiled baking sheets; flatten slightly. Bake 10 minutes, until bottoms are browned and crispy. Turn latkes over. Transfer pan from upper rack to lower rack and vice versa. Bake 8 to 10 minutes longer.)

Yield: about 2 dozen or 5 dozen miniatures. Freezes well. 

* Sweet potatoes with a purple peel and cream-coloured flesh (such as Purple Sweeties) have a lower glycemic index than regular potatoes and are less sweet than orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. Their taste and texture are similar to regular potatoes, but they are more nutritious. 

More recipes from Norene's appearance on Canada AM on Dec. 22, 2008 


Latke Recipes from Healthy Helpings by Norene GilletzHomemade Applesauce 
Source: Healthy Helpings

Applesauce makes a wonderful accompaniment to potato latkas, or is a simple, delicious dessert on its own. My Baba Masha always added a ripe pear. Her applesauce was the best!

8 medium apples*
1 Bartlett pear, optional
1/4 cup water or apple juice**
3 to 4 tbsp. sugar (or equivalent sweetener)**
1 tsp. cinnamon

Peel and core the apples and pear. Cut them into chunks. Combine all ingredients (except artificial sweetener, if using) in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook partially covered for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender.

* If you have a food mill, cook apples without peeling. Wash well before cooking and discard stems. After cooking, put mixture through a food mill. Applesauce will be rosy pink.

** If using apple juice, use minimum amount of sugar or sweetener. If you want the apples to keep their shape, add sugar after cooking, not before. If using sweetener, add after cooking.

To microwave, cook covered on HIGH power for 6 to 8 minutes, or until tender. Stir once or twice during cooking.

Break up applesauce with a spoon, or serve it chunky.

Yield: 6 servings. Freezes well.

124 calories per serving, 0.8 g fat (0.1 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, <1 g protein, 32 g carbohydrate, 2 mg sodium, 166 mg potassium, trace iron, 5 g fiber, 14 mg calcium.

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All images and recipes © Norene Gilletz 2013 unless otherwise noted.
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