The humble latke goes haute cuisine

shutterstock_98885633Hanukkah is well underway and with the celebration comes ample delicious Jewish comfort food, such as latkes – otherwise known as potato pancakes.

Hanukkah marks a time in ancient history when Jews triumphed against all odds over the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who strived to Hellenize the people of Jerusalem and their sacred temple. After defeating their would-be conquerors, the Jews lit the temple’s menorah and found a single supply of olive oil miraculously burned for eight long days.

Today, Jews celebrate the victory of light over darkness with an eight-day festival, which is reflected in the traditional lighting of the menorah. They also feast on fried foods, such as latkes, which are cooked in oil to symbolize the miracle of the single cruse of fuel.

Latkes are easy to prepare and are made using three basic ingredients: grated potato, flour, and egg – with some onion thrown in for added flavour. They’re traditionally served with sour cream for a savoury option, or applesauce for a sweet treat.

By substituting Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream for the dollop of dairy, however, latkes can easily be made lactose-free. Plus, with the below tips, you can also elevate the centuries-old and humble latke into something you would find in haute cuisine.

Know your roots

Dig deeper than potatoes by swapping the latke’s main ingredient for other root vegetables, such as yam, beet, carrot, turnip, rutabaga, celeriac or parsnip. Not only will your latkes be more flavourful, but they’ll also be wonderfully colourful.

Spice it up

For a nod to Indian cuisine, try adding garam masala into the mix, which is a blend of aromatic spices. Alternatively, for a southwestern twist on the classic, consider getting creative with cumin, cayenne and fresh cilantro. Whip smoky chipotle into your Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream for extra kick.

Make room for dessert

The versatile latke can easily double as dessert. Simply switch out potato for shredded apple and combine with cinnamon. Garnish the fritter with a sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar and a scoop of your favourite flavour of Tofutti Premium frozen dessert. Don’t forget to drizzle the delicacy with real maple syrup before digging in.