I know, I know. I ditched you for over a week and therefore I should return with something that’s not almost exactly the same as what I shared last time. But really, could you ever get sick of latkes? I debated on whether it was socially acceptable to share these so long after Hanukkah and whether it makes me a totally slacking, need-to-get-my-sh!t-together-earlier-next-year blogger. If that’s how you feel, you can quietly stay away for the next seventy two hours because day-by-day I’ll be sharing the makings for a gourmet latke trio I put together for a belated Hanukkah dinner.
Which brings me to my next point. Belated Hanukkah dinners are still happening. In fact, it’s not all that uncommon for families to have their Hanukkah celebrations on Christmas, simply because it’s a day most of us happen to be free. And who says latkes are just for Hanukkah? I can’t think of a single Christian who would turn down latkes on Christmas (in fact, I know some who have specifically requested them.) And when pared down in size, latkes served as a party hors d’oeuvre on New Years Eve (or anytime) are a guaranteed hit. (Another reason they’re a perfect choice? They can be made ahead and frozen.)
So what’s in a latke? Well, really, any vegetable that lends itself to grating. I first threw together these butternut squash latkes for a Hanukkah dinner with friends, and they were such a hit that I immediately got several requests for the recipe and links to the blog. The problem? I didn’t have a recipe, and I didn’t measure anything along the way. And as it usually happens when I have company, I don’t make time and space for foodie photo shoots. So my only option was to make them again. Life is really rough when you have to make more butternut squash latkes, let me tell you. This time around, I made the latkes on the smaller side to include in my latke trio. And I topped them with a bit of lightly sweetened yogurt for a cool, tangy contrast. The result? Well, let’s just say there was some toe-curling. And lots of oooh-ahhh’s and oh-my’s. I’ll leave it at that!
Butternut Squash Latkes with Sage and Nutmeg
Makes about 30 cocktail-size latkes
2 lbs peeled, diced butternut squash
2 small onions, roughly chopped
6 tablespoons (45gm) flour
2-3 tablespoons minced fresh sage
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
freshly ground pepper
canola oil, for frying
Grate the squash and onions using the shredding attachment on a food processor, and transfer to a bowl. Add the eggs, flour, sage, nutmeg, salt and pepper; mix to combine (hands work well here!)
Add about 1/4 inch of oil to a wide, deep skillet or dutch oven and warm over high heat. When the oil is hot, gently drop the squash mixture by scant 1/4 cup-fulls into the oil. Let cook for about 10-20 seconds, then gently flatten just a bit. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until browned. Then carefully flip the latkes (these are a bit more delicate than traditional potato latkes) and continue cooking until the opposite side is browned. Remove to paper towels to let drain. Keep warm in a 300ºF oven until ready to serve. (Alternatively, latkes can be frozen and reheated in a 400ºF oven just before serving.)
Serve hot with maple yogurt sauce.
Whisk together the following:
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon maple syrup
dash of cinnamon
PS – The folks at General Mills have shared coupon for 50 cents off four containers of Yoplait yogurt. If you enjoy yogurt, this is also a great opportunity to help in the fight against breast cancer. Through December 31st, you can send your pink lids back to Yoplait and they will donate 10 cents to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. Click here to save money and save lives!