on this article
Potato Latkes with Tomato-Lemon
by Eddy Robey M.A.
Shining Candles, spinning Dreidls, and Latkes. Oh how we
look forward to the Latkes. We love all sorts of them:
whether from White or Sweet Potatoes, Yams, or Carrots.
There will be endless debates, Sour Cream or Applesauce?
No matter how rigid our diets, at Chanukah we must eat
food cooked in Oil, to commemorate the miracle.
Chanukah is certainly a holiday for modern times; a
celebration of freedom and diversity which also includes
tradition. The Latkes are the tradition; the Tomato-Lemon
Confit brings a bit of something exotic to your holiday
table. The cultural roots of this dish reach back to
France. Sweet and tart, it will be enjoyed by all. This
should be made ahead of time so it can chill, and will
keep in the refrigerator for a month. When Latke time is
over, try it with Roast Chicken.
Some of us will use a Grater handed down for generations,
and laugh about how bits of finger improve flavor. Some
will use a Food Processor, and still others will start
with ready grated Potatoes from the Produce or Frozen
Food sections of the market. Regardless of how the basic
ingredients are shredded, our families will be full of
smiles, when they gobble every bit of the finished
Ingredients for the Latkes
4 cups grated White or Sweet Potatoes, Yams, or Carrots
1 grated Onion
1/2-3/4 cup Flour or Matzo Meal
Oil for frying (Not Olive Oil)
If grating your own Potatoes, the first step is to get
the water out of them. This is most easily done by
putting them in a towel and squeezing so it absorbs and
drains the liquid. Sweet Potatoes, Yams, and Carrots: are
not watery, and do not need this step. Place the basic
grated substance in a large mixing bowl, add all the
other ingredients, and mix thoroughly. You may wish to
adjust the amount of Flour or Matzo meal to the
consistency you prefer. There is no salt in this recipe.
That is because the potatoes keep getting more watery if
you use it. Salt after cooking, if you want to.
Put a large bowl of ice water next to the stove. This for
use if you get burned by any splashing oil. With that in
mind, save your sleeveless dresses for another time and
wear an apron if you don't want your clothes ruined. Oil
burns are horrible and any stains are usually permanent.
Heat about 1/2 inch of Oil in a deep skillet. If you use
a shallow one, you will be scrubbing the stove for a long
time. Heat the Oil until a drop of water dances on it.
Use medium rather than high heat to do this. Scoop some
of the Potato mixture with a heat proof spatula. Use
another spatula to slide it into the oil. DO NOT put it
in with your hands or you will get burned. Let the Latkes
cook until browned, then turn using both spatulas, so the
Oil doesn't splash. When browned, remove and drain on
For those of you who must be very careful about Fat
intake, here is another method of cooking. Preheat oven
to 400 degrees. Spray a baking pan with Vegetable Oil.
form patties and place in the pan. Spray the tops of the
patties and then bake for 30 minutes or until brown.
These will not be the same as fried Latkes, but will
allow you to enjoy something without upsetting your
Cholesterol count. The spray contains oil, so you will be
eating food cooked with oil as tradition asks.
Ingredients for the Tomato-Lemon Confit
3 pounds Plum Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 large Lemons, sliced as thinly as possible
8 cups Sugar
First, I will tell you how to peel and seed Tomatoes, a
much easier process than you might think. Place a large
pot of water on the stove at high heat, and bring it to a
boil. Next to it, on the counter, place a large bowl of
ice water. A few at a time, drop the Tomatoes into the
water. Boil 1 minute, then remove them with a slotted
tool and put them in the ice water. Repeat with all of
them. The skins will slip right off the Tomatoes. To seed
the Tomatoes, cut them in half and scoop out the seeds
with the tip of a butter knife. Discard the seeds, and
chop the Tomatoes.
Place the Tomatoes, thinly sliced Lemons, and Sugar in as
large a non-reactive pot as you have. Non reactive means
that it is coated in some way, either with enamel or a
non-stick finish. Acidic ingredients taste metallic when
cooked in an uncoated pot. Stir, and allow to sit for an
hour. This will be enough time for the Sugar to draw the
juices from the tomatoes and Lemons.
Place the pan over a medium-high flame and bring to a
boil, stirring constantly. The mixture will foam, so
watch out for runover. Boil and stir for about 20
minutes. As the juices evaporate, the mixture will
thicken and the foam become less. You are watching for
the moment when the foam will disappear into the mixture.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool before putting the
Confit in the refrigerator. Sugar boils at very high
temperatures, and it is safest to wait before pouring the
confit into another container. Chill and serve.
This is an excerpt from
Not Just Chicken Soup.
copyright 2000 Eddy Robey
Eddy Robey M.A.
Author of It's
Not Just Chicken Soup
Like all Jewish mothers, I feed everyone in sight, and
have been at work in the kitchen for over 25 years.
Correspondence should be addressed to
<firstname.lastname@example.org> and will be read as soon as the
dishes are done. You can find many of my recipes online
at Gantseh Megillah
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