GOURMET LATKES? THEY’RE FABULOUS APPETIZERS FOR BOTH HANNUKAH AND NEW YEAR’S EVE.
I will admit, gourmet latkes were not part of my youth. I grew up in a small northern town where my Polish heritage flourished throughout my childhood. I was fortunate enough to live right next door to my paternal grandparents and my great-grandmother too.
The Catholic holidays were always laced with our Polish foods and traditions. Grandma ruled the roost! So, straight potato pancakes (as we called them in our family) with a bit of onion are what we ate.
My mother grew up on a ranch out West and learned to be “Polish” over the years. She became adept at making pierogi (stuffed dumplings), kluski noodles and stuffed cabbage. (you don’t even want to see it spelled in Polish!) So I was blessed with two teachers to learn my family recipes.
3 GOURMET LATKE RECIPES FOR HANNUKAH AND NEW YEAR’S EVE
I’m giving you recipes for my three favorite versions of gourmet latkes. The first uses, of course, the potato! The second is a wonderfully colorful zucchini version for the holidays. It incorporates both yellow and red bell pepper, red onion and cumin for a delicious crispy appetizer fritter.
The third gourmet latke recipe is a riff on one we used for catering years ago. It came from one of Martha Stewart’s first cookbooks when she still catered herself.
It’s a parsnip-apple-onion-carrot fritter that is sweet and savory all at once. Both parsnips and carrots have plenty of sugars that brown and sweeten when sauteed. Adding tart granny smith apple and onion to the combo makes it just perfect for a petite-appetizer-sized gourmet latke.
All three of these fritters are the perfect gourmet latkes for Hannukah and New Year’s Eve.
USING MY SPIRALIZER MAKES SUCH PRETTY, LACY LATKES!
The twist on these recipes is that instead of grating the potato and zucchini, I spiralized them instead! The “vegetable noodles” make for a lovely “lacy” texture and presentation. The spiralizer makes “zoodles” that are really long, so I make a few cuts with scissors to tame them.
If you have a gadget that can make spirals, using it for these recipes make an otherwise tedious job, fun!
POTATO PANCAKES, I MEAN LATKES!
When our boys were young, I converted to Judaism and started calling my family recipe for potato pancakes, latkes. It was a subtle change, as I grew up eating these crispy fritters on meatless Fridays during Lent and Advent.
The difference was, a young Polish girl used butter and salt on her potato pancakes. It seemed logical, given my love of buttered mashed potatoes.
I make gourmet latkes for Hannukah and New Year’s Eve almost every year, as we don’t have them much otherwise.
Now, as a older, more sophisticated gal, our garnishes include a lovely array of delectable tidbits like this:
- Homemade applesauce
- Green onions, sliced on the bias
- Hot Smoked salmon
- “Everything” bagel seasoning
- Sour cream
- Nova smoked salmon
- Fresh dill
- Caviar ( use a wooden spoon, please!)
- Smoked trout
- Black truffle oil
- Fresh Italian parsley
GOURMET LATKES LET YOU GET CREATIVE
The combination of garnishes is literally, endless! I’m sure you can come up with some more great ideas on how to “doll up” the extremely humble potato. It’s loads of fun to create a “gourmet latke topping bar” to let everyone assemble their own favorite combinations.
Now, I will admit that there are a number of items like bacon, that would also be a great addition to this list. But, because this post includes Hannukah for these recipes, out of respect I have omitted it from my list. But please, feel free to add it to yours!
GREEK KEFTEDES FRITTER RECIPE
Last winter we threw a Greek Dinner Party that included a lovely Zucchini Keftedes with Tangy Yogurt Cucumber Salad. You might want to click on the links to check out the fabulous Greek dinner party menu, tablescape and even take-home favors included in the series of posts.
ENTERTAINING WITH PANACHE ON NEW YEAR’S EVE
The Traveling Wolves will be taking off to Colorado for a snowmobiling trip right after the New Year, so no party this year.
But I didn’t want to miss out on New Year’s Eve entirely. I decided to put together an amazing selection of “over-the-top” Harlequin New Year’s Eve party ideas instead!
I’ll be posting several New Year’s Eve themed articles over the next two weeks. Wait till you see the fabulous party ideas I’ve come up with this year! Here’s a sneak peak!
Aren’t these white-wine-glass shades fabulous? It’s just one of the many “over-the-top” New Year’s Eve party ideas I have in store for you!
WHAT ABOUT THE GOURMET LAKTES FOR HANNUKAH AND NEW YEAR’S EVE?
Yes, yes, I do disgress! Back to the subject at hand – latkes!
These gourmet latkes are a great appetizer for a New Year’s Eve party too. Latkes reheat to a perfect crispness in the oven and then can be served as a passed hors d’oeuvre if desired.
Alternatively, the reheated fritters may be set in a chafer on a “gourmet latke toppings bar”. This allows your guests to choose their favorite toppings and get creative for themselves.
ARE LATKES A PART OF YOUR HOLIDAY RECIPES?
Do you make potato pancakes, latkes or vegetable fritters during the holiday season? Is there a family recipe that you use every year without fail? Maybe you’ve developed a new recipe that has become a “new” family tradition.
Won’t you take a minute to share with us? Just scroll down and send me a comment or head over to The Fab Life Facebook Group instead. I really want to hear what you cook for your family and friends for the holidays.
I hope I’ve convinced you to try gourmet latkes for Hannukah or New Year’s Eve this year!
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Use scissors to cut through the pile of vegetable spirals to shorten long curls. This will make them easier to shape and fry into rounded fritters. *NOTE: - If you'll be reheating the fritters for your holiday party, cook the latkes to a light brown. The latkes will brown further and crisp up in the oven when reheated.
Use scissors to cut through the pile of vegetable spirals to shorten long curls. This will make them easier to shape and fry into rounded fritters.
*NOTE: - If you'll be reheating the fritters for your holiday party, cook the latkes to a light brown. The latkes will brown further and crisp up in the oven when reheated.