Friday, November 29, 2013

Sweet and Savory Latkes

Thanksgiving was sooooo good. Perfect, actually. I was cooking and baking for days and it felt great to wake up this afternoon with almost nothing to do.

I'm mourning the death of my blender, sadly. I was blending carrots for a soufflé when a piece of the top lid fell inside and was instantly chomped into a dozen plastic shards. It ruined the blender and the soufflé. I felt bad because the carrot soufflé is so dang delicious and a tradition of my husband's which has become a tradition for us both. It was a super cheap blender so I'm really just going to miss being without one and not really missing that one in particular. I bought it on a whim because it was turquoise but it always lacked the horsepower I crave in the kitchen. I won't have a new one in time to make soufflé for the remaining nights of Chanukkah but hopefully Santa will bring me one and I can try again for New Years. I'm sure that sentence confused you if you didn't know that my husband and I are an interfaith couple :)

I made a ton of food. A TON! Even after everyone took leftovers, I still have a nice stockpile. My husband and I love potatoes and are known to go overboard when potatoes and holidays come together. We made loaded mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole AND latkes. There wasn't a single latke in sight when I woke up hungry today and since it was lunchtime anyway, I decided to make a few from leftovers.

Working with leftover mashed potatoes couldn't be easier. It's like handling extremely cold Play-Doh. Roll your mixture into balls and shape into patties, or just shape into patties-- whatever is easier. If potatoes are sticking to your hands, coat them with a little bit of oil. I fried these babies in olive oil because after all, Chanukkah is all about the oil! The sweet potato mixture was a little bit gooier for me but still worked fine. I cooked each side for a few minutes then drained the latkes on paper towels briefly to absorb excess oil. I ate the sweet potato latke with Cool Whip and the other with some sour cream. I think I may be warming up to sweet potatoes after all.

What do I put in my loaded mashed potatoes? I don't have a recipe I follow-- it's just adding and tasting and adding tasting. I make these all year long and love love love them. I wash and scrub potatoes and then bake them in the microwave until they're fork tender. Then I mash them (skins and all). I add onion, milk, sour cream, parsley, garlic salt, real butter and sometimes bacon. No, bacon isn't Kosher but my husband and I eat it although I don't use it when preparing food for Jewish holidays. Just throwing that out there! I like to whip the potatoes and all of the ingredients together with my electric mixer and whisk attachments until everything is super fluffy. At this point, because the potatoes are so loaded with cold ingredients, they become cold or at least not nearly as warm as potatoes should taste. I put them in a Pyrex dish and bake them in a 400° F oven for about 20 minutes or so. Technically, they have become twice-baked potatoes at this point. I love when the little potato peaks get golden and crispy!

What do I put in my sweet potato casserole? I also don't have a recipe I follow for this either. Since I spent most of my life not eating it and have been making it now for just under ten years, I would just add ingredients and have my husband taste. I bet it never tasted the same way twice, but I may start keeping track of ingredient amounts since I just might like it now. I boil or oven-bake or even microcook the sweet potatoes. It just depends on how I feel like making them at the time and on a holiday maybe the stovetop or oven aren't exactly vacant and I just make do. Boiling can lead to flavor loss, fyi. Once tender, I mash the sweet potatoes and add milk, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and real butter. All amounts are to taste. I put the mashed sweet potatoes in Pyrex and sprinkle the top with more cinnamon and white sugar before baking them in the oven. 400° for about 20 minutes or so usually does the trick. I'm mostly just getting them warm again.

With simultaneous Thanksgiving and Chanukkah celebrations you could turn just about anything into a latke, I guess. What's your favorite thing to make with Thanksgiving leftovers?

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  1. Your latkes look delicious! I particularly like the idea of using sweet potatoes to make them. Yum!!

    P.S. - I'm sorry about your blender :(

    1. Thanks, Donna. Sweet potatoes are quickly becoming a friend of mine :) Thanks for your condolences. I hope Santa brings me a better one :)