Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the first recipe I ever created. (Not exactly a big deal now, but four years ago I was amazed that my intuition could yield something so tasty.) This is based on the latkes that my mother used to make when I was young (which I didn’t like, because they were made with onions). I’d sit there, pull apart the entire thing, and try to pick out all the onions until my parents would give me a “finish your dinner by this time or no television” deadline. To this day, I still taste phantom onions in shredded potatoes. So when I set out to create my latke, I knew I didn’t want to use white potatoes. Enter the sweet potato!
I’ve received a lot of praise for my sweet potato pancakes. It was even suggested that I might have a chance at beating my mother in a latke cook-off. (Apparently, people who don’t harbor an intense hatred of onions think hers are quite delicious.) Back when my boyfriend Johnny was just a romantic interest, I decided to impress him by cooking these. I ended up burning the crap out of the first batch and leaving some serious burn marks on one of his nice stainless steel pans. (Eep.) Freaking out, I tossed the partially charred latkes on a plate and started on the second round. While I was concentrating on not burning things, Johnny decided to take a sample from the reject plate.
- 1 large or 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes (you should wind up with approximately 3 cups, grated)
- 1 egg
- ½ cup of parmesan cheese, grated
- ½ cup of breadcrumbs (herbed, preferably)
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp lemon pepper
- oil, for frying
- Peel sweet potatoes, then grate them into a large bowl. Add egg and mix with a fork until blended. Stir in parmesan, garlic powder, and lemon pepper. Add breadcrumbs and mix until well combined (you may need to switch from a fork to your hands).
- Shape mixture into patties. Heat oil in a pan. Fry latkes over medium-high heat until well browned on both sides. Drain for a few minutes on a napkin before serving.
- (I’m still working on figuring out a good dipping sauce for these. We would use applesauce for the regular latkes, but I don’t think it would work with the sweet potato. I recently came up with the idea for some sort of greek yogurt and sriracha mixture, but I have yet to give it a try.)