ali-latkes

When thinking about Chrismukkah, it was nonsensical to have a spread that did not include, (a) latkes; and (b) turkey. Hence, my spicy amalgamation of these two seasonal specialties. If you celebrate Hannukah, you will know what a latke is and why we chosen ones devour these crispy, golden, crunchy, fried potato treats at Hanukkah. If you have no clue what the fuck I am on about, latkes are essentially Jewish fast-food, representing the miracle of the Menorah.

As latkes are best served fresh – if cooking on a large scale, I suggest the following. First, make the Turkey Hash, this can be left to one side in the pan and re-heated before serving. Then, make the latke batter, cover with cling film & refrigerate until your guests arrive, then fry them up & place each prepared batch in a preheated oven while you finish cooking all the latkes. Easy peasy.

PS: The spice combinations here, have to be dedicated to my wonderful fiancé, Farmer J, who introduced me to ras al hanout coated sweet potatoes. SO GOOD.

  • LEVEL: Easy
  • Prep: 30 Mins
  • Cook: 20-25 Mins
  • SERVES: 14 - 16

Top Tips 

Ingredients
*Ras al Hanout is a North African spice blend sold in most supermarkets – mixture of cumin, coriander, cinnamon ginger, peppercorns, turmeric, cardamom pods and a good pinch of saffron. Recipe coming in the New Year, part of my ‘Spread Spice Essentials’.

*Zatar is a Middle-Eastern spice blends, again, it is sold in most supermarkets – mixture of sumac, thyme, roasted sesame seeds, marjoram, oregano and sea salt. Recipe coming in the New Year, part of my ‘Spread Spice Essentials’.

*Preserved lemons are used extensively in North African cooking. They add a subtle, unique lemony flavour to dishes that you must try! I LOVE THEM.

Get Equipped
*You can either shred your potatoes with a hand grater or a food processor (with the grater attachment). I vote food processor – that is, if you can get it to work, I find this very difficult. Not only is it MUCH quicker, but it yields firmer, show string like threads, as opposed to stands that clump more easily. If you don’t have one though, by hand is still gets the job done!

*Excess moisture is the enemy of a crisp latke – so if you have cheese cloth to hand, you are winning. If you don’t, a clean tea towel will suffice.

Ingredients 

Turkey Hash 

1.5 kg turkey, minced
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 red onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp. cumin 1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. zatar
1 preserved lemons, roughly chopped
60g coriander, roughly chopped
20g parsley, roughly chopped
1 tbsp. pomegranate molasses (or ½ tbsp. maple syrup)
sea salt (to taste)
ground black pepper (to taste)

Sweet Potato Latkes 

4 large sweet potatoes, peeled
4 white onions, grated
3 eggs, beaten
3 tbsp. ras al hanout
60g coriander, finely chopped
1 cup matzo meal (or cornflour)
3 tbs. olive oil, for frying (or grapeseed)
sea salt (to taste)
ground black pepper (to taste)
goats yoghurt (to serve)

Method

1. First, the turkey hash. Heat the olive oil in the pan over a medium-heat and add the onions and garlic. Cook gently for 5 minutes until the onions soften.

2. Add the minced turkey to the pan and season with salt & pepper. Use a wooden spoon to break up the mince and remove any lumps. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the turkey begins to brown.

3. Stir in the cumin, chili powder, zatar. And pomegranate molasses. Raise the heat to medium-high and continue to stir. Cook for a further 2 minutes.

4. Add the chopped preserved lemons and coriander, taste and add salt or pepper if required. Cook for a further minute.

5.Leave to one side in the pan, ready to reheat, whilst you crack on with the latkes.

6. Preheat the oven to 200C/ 400F/ Gas 6

7. Line baking sheets with paper towels.

8. Grate the peeled sweet potatoes and onions (separately) by hand or with a food processor.

9. Bundle the grated sweet potato in the center of a clean towel/ cheesecloth. Wrap the shreds up with the cloth, to form a ball, twisting the cloth to secure the bundle. Squeeze to remove excess liquid. Then place in a clean bowl. Really important to get all the water out!

10. Add the grated onion to the shredded potato, and stir in the matzo meal, ras al hanout, eggs and coriander (leaving a tbsp. to garnish). Mix thoroughly & season.

11. If you are making ahead, now is the time to cover with cling film and refrigerate. Alternatively, leave to rest for 10-15 minutes.

12. Heat the oil in the pan (to come half-way up the latke). Heat slowly over a medium heat, until it shimmers.

13. Spoon about 1 heaped tablespoon of the potato mixture (per patty) into the hot oil and flatten each patty with a fork. Tip: don’t overcrowd the pan! Fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Add oil as needed.

14. Remove the cooked latkes from the oil, place on the lined baking sheets and leave in the preheated oven to keep warm while you cook the rest. *At this point, start reheating the turkey hash on a medium heat.

15. To serve, place all the latkes on a platter, top with piles of hash, garnish with coriander and dollops of goat’s yoghurt.Yum.

turkey-latkes

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