Sweet Potato Latke Fail!

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

2014-11-08 - VHC Sweet Potato Latkes - 0002 [flickr]

After a pretty respectable streak in the kitchen, I encountered an epic fail with the most unlikely of suspects: latkes, which don’t usually prove much of a challenge at all. The Sweet Potato Latkes from Vegan Holiday Cooking – a 50/50 blend of shredded sweet and russet potatoes that looks so amazing in the gourmet food photo from the cookbook – came out more like hash browns. These guys could not hold a patty shape to save their lives. Like, not even close. I put a ball of batter in my palm to flatten it out, and it just crumbled everywhere. Not to mention, they didn’t even rival the neon orange color of the latkes pictured in the book.

Not wishing to waste four potatoes (or all the effort spent grating them), I did the obvious thing: made them into baked hash browns! Basically I followed the alt. baking instructions, adding about 15 minutes to the recommended bake time. Since I needed two cookie sheets to hold all the potatoes, I tried a little experiment: the first cookie sheet I lined with parchment paper, while I lightly sprayed the other with Pam. The results? Nearly identical. Go figure.

You’re supposed to top the mini latkes with a dab o’ almond creme fraiche – but, seeing as the recipe is so similar to the one featured in the Roasted Squash Soup – i.e., the one that already didn’t work for me once – I skipped it altogether. Good thing, since there were no latkes in need of garnishing after all!

2014-11-10 - Latke Tofu Scramble - 0001 [flickr]

For what it’s worth, the leftover potatoes made a wonderful add-in for a tofu scramble. Pictured above is a scramble with mushrooms, onions, red peppers, tomatoes, and about a cup of hash browns (fried separately for maximum crispiness). So good, I’m not even 100% sure I can call this a fail.

Root Vegetable Latkes

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

2014-05-01 - MVT Root Vegetable Latke - 0001 [flickr]

These latkes from Mayim’s Vegan Table (review coming soon!) are reminiscent of the potato pancakes my mom made when I was a kid,* but with extras: Sweet potatoes. Carrots. Zucchini. Red Onions. Dill. So many savory flavors for one lil’ pancake!

Instead of frying, I decided to bake mine for a slightly healthier meal. Twelve minutes on each side at 425F worked okay, but I’m still experimenting with different time/temp combos. 425F burned the edges just a teeny bit.

As with the Quinoa Burgers, I ended up with double the batter I expected. Pro tip: the leftovers make a decent burrito filling. Just fry in skillet (with a teaspoon of oil and any extra veggies your heart desires) for about ten minutes.

2014-05-04 - MVT Latke Burritos - 0001 [flickr]

* OMG childhood memory time! My mom made THE BEST potato pancakes. She had this old-style, turn of the century meat grinder that she used exclusively to shred potatoes. (What a mess that was. Wet newspaper everywhere!) It came down from the attic like twice a year, when she’d make an oven full of pancakes for us, our aunt (who lived on one side of us), our great-uncle Floyd and his wife Millie (they lives on the other side), and our great-uncle Howard (who lived next to Floyd). (Family land long since divided. Another story for another day.) She literally spent a good four hours making pile after pile of pancakes. (STACKS LIKE WHOAH!) I’d say that I helped, but idk how much assistance a seven-year-old me might have provided. My brother and I were decent delivery people at best.

I loved the pancakes with maple syrup and just a smidge of margarine. Reminder to self: must get that recipe from mom like yesterday! It should be pretty easy to veganize, if it even contains any animal products. Eggs, maybe?