Food & Drink

Ask An Atlanta Chef: Best Latke Recipes For Hanukkah

November 20, 2013 7:00 AM

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(Credit: http://www.alons.geomerx.com/)

Hanukkah is an ancient Jewish celebration, deeply rooted in lasting traditions and commemorated through rituals and song. But what holiday celebration would be complete without food? Latkes – also known as potato pancakes – are a classic Hanukkah dish that is cooked in oil in remembrance of the oil that burned for eight days and eight nights during the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem in 165 B.C.

In keeping with a culturally diverse city like Atlanta, there is a treasure trove of chefs throughout the city who specialize in a number of ethnic dishes and cooking styles. For a handful of imaginative latke recipes, one need look no further than Alon Balshon, owner and chef at Alon’s Bakery & Market.

Chef Alon Balshan
Alon’s Bakery and Market
www.alons.geomerx.com

Virginia Highlands Location
1394 N. Highland Ave. N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30306
(404) 872-6000

Dunwoody Location
4505 Ashford Dunwoody Road N.E. 
Dunwoody, GA 303456
(678) 397-1781

As far as authentic Hanukkah recipes go, Alon Balshan not only hails from Israel, but he also attended culinary school there. His award-winning Alon’s Bakery & Market is well known among Atlanta foodies for its rich blend of artisan breads, decadent desserts, European-inspired market and gourmet entrees. Each year, his deliciously unique family-owned company – which boasts two locations and a history that spans more than 20 years – prepares traditional dishes to grace countless Hanukkah tables all over the city. In keeping with the spirit of the holiday season, Alon and his wife Janine are honored to share a few of their latke recipes – one classic, one sweet and one savory.

Janine’s Traditional Latkes

Ingredients:

  • 2 Idaho potatoes – grated
  • 1/2 small carrot – grated
  • 1/2 medium onion – grated
  • 1/4 cup matzo meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, blend all of the ingredients together well.
  2. Place enough oil in a pan so it’s about a 1/4-inch deep and heat.
  3. When the oil is hot enough for frying, deposit 3 or 4 mounds of the latke mixture in the pan.
  4. Press each mound with a spatula to make a thin pancake.
  5. Fry to golden brown.
  6. After removing from the pan, sprinkle with salt to taste. (Chef Alon warns that he doesn’t like to add salt before frying because it draws the juices out of the vegetables.)

Related: Best Caterers In Atlanta

Sweet Potato Latkes with Sesame Seeds and Cinnamon 

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium grated sweet potato
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of matzo meal
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, blend all of the ingredients together well – should be a fairly dry mixture.
  2. Place enough oil in a pan so it’s about a 1/4-inch deep and heat.
  3. When the oil is hot enough for frying, deposit 3 or 4 mounds of the latke mixture in the pan.
  4. Press each mound with a spatula to make a thin pancake.
  5. Fry to golden brown.
  6. Remove from heat and then mix 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon together, sprinkle on both sides of the latkes and serve them warm with sour cream and/or applesauce. This recipe makes about 8 latkes.

Beet Cumin Latkes

Ingredients:

  • 2 Idaho potatoes – grated
  • 1 small beet – equivalent of about 1 cup grated
  • 1/2 medium onion – grated
  • 1/4 cup matzo meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, blend all of the ingredients together well.
  2. Place enough oil in a pan so it’s about a 1/4-inch deep and heat.
  3. When the oil is hot enough for frying, deposit 3 or 4 mounds of the latke mixture in the pan.
  4. Press each mound with a spatula to make a thin pancake.
  5. Fry to golden brown and enjoy.

Related: 8 Best Atlanta Foodies To Follow On Twitter

Kasie Bolling is a freelance writer covering all things Atlanta. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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