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Latke Fest 2015 | Great Performances


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Latke Fest 2015
by The Latke Team

Latke festival is quickly approaching. Do you have a game plan mapped out? Which restaurant’s table will you hit first? Will it be BAM’s for their latke with Applewood-Smoked Duck Confit and Lingonberry Chutney or The Vanderbilt’s for their Eggplant Parm Latke?

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If you want to get in on the action, below are some of our favorite latke recipes, ranging from the classic with Sylvia’s Table’s Traditional Potato Latke to the locally-inspired Potato Latke with Red Lentils, Grilled Hudson Valley Carrots and Baby Turnips, and Cardamom Curry Scented Yogurt. It’s time to start frying!

Traditional Potato Latke

(From Sylvia’s Table)


1 medium onion, chopped

4 Russet potatoes, peeled and shredded by hand or food processor

3 tbsp flour or potato starch

3 eggs 

Salt and Pepper

For the topping:

Applesauce (store bought or homemade) or Sour Cream


1.  Sauté the onion in about 2 tbsp of olive oil till soft but not browned. Set aside to cool.

2.  Mix the grated potatoes, onions, flour and eggs together in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Then turn them into a colander set over a large bowl. Drape a damp dishcloth over the colander. When it seems that very little liquid is draining off the potatoes, after about 15 minutes, carefully pour off the water, leaving the starch that has collected at the bottom of the bowl.  Mix the starch back into the potatoes – this will help hold the latkes together as they cook.

3.  Place a large skillet over medium heat and pour in equal amounts of olive and canola oil to a depth of about 1 inch. The oil is hot enough when a tiny bit of the latke mixture sizzles when you drop it in.

4.  I make small latkes, 3-4 inches across, scooping up a large tablespoon of batter into my palm and flattening it out before sliding it into the pan. The edges of the latke are very ragged and make me think of multi-clawed crabs!  It takes only a few minutes for the latkes to brown. Then I gently flip them. As they come out of the pan, I move them onto a cookie sheet lined with paper towels. 

*Guideline for yield:  One potato will make about 2-3 latkes. One person will eat 3 latkes, depending on the size. 

Celery Root Latke with Red Onion, Parsley and Black Olive Relish


For the latke:

2 cups peeled and shredded potatoes

1 cup peeled and shredded celery root

4 eggs, beaten

3 tbsp grated onion

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 pinch cayenne pepper

1 pinch nutmeg

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 cup canola oil for frying


1.  Place the potatoes and celery root in cheesecloth and wring out all of the moisture.

2.  Stir together remaining ingredients, and set aside until ready to form latkes. 

3.  Assemble the latkes. 

4.  Over medium heat, fry patties of this mixture until golden brown, flipping as needed. Drain well on a paper towel and top with a dollop of relish and a deviled egg.

For the topping:

1 cup medium diced red onion, roasted in olive oil

2 tbsp chopped parsley

3 tbsp pitted black olives, roughly chopped

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Zest of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste


Mix all ingredients well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Benchmark's Chef Ryan Jaronik's Caraway-Scented Latke with Short Rib Pastrami, Truffled Sauerkraut, and Mustard Crème

For the Latke:


3 carola potatoes, shredded

1 small red onion, finely minced

1 tbsp caraway seeds, cracked

3 eggs

½ tsp kosher salt

Oil for frying

Heat the oil in a large cast iron pan to 350 degrees. Mix all the other ingredients together with a spoon.  Working in batches, spoon potato mixture into the oil and fry until golden and crisp. Remove to a paper towel to drain.

For the Short Rib Pastrami:


2 pounds boneless beef short ribs

1 gallon brine

4 tbsp coriander, cracked

4 tbsp black pepper, cracked

2 tbsp mustard seeds, cracked

For the Brine:

6 oz kosher salt

3 oz sugar

2 oz honey

2 tsp pink salt 

5 cloves garlic, smashed 

2 tsp pickling spice


Boil the brine ingredients together in one gallon of water. Let chill. Place the short ribs in the brine for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. On the fourth day, remove the short ribs and pat dry. Mix together the coriander, black pepper and mustard seeds. Roll the short rib in the spice mixture. Smoke the short ribs over apple, hickory and cherry wood for 4-6 hours, or until tender, at 205 degrees.

Potato Latke with Red Lentils, Grilled Hudson Valley Carrots and Baby Turnips, and Cardamom Curry Scented Yogurt

(From Mae Mae Café in Hudson Square)


For the latke:

1 1/2 cup peeled and shredded potatoes

1 tbsp grated yellow onion

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 tbsp all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

For the topping:

2 baby turnips, quartered

2  thumbelina carrots, sliced lengthwise into 4 pieces

2 baby golden beets, sliced lengthwise into 4 pieces

1 cup olive oil


1 cup red lentils

2 cups water

1 plum tomato, seeded and diced

1 tsp grated ginger, sautéed

1 tsp minced garlic, sautéed

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

2 tbsp olive oil


1/2 cup yogurt

1 tbsp roasted garlic

1 small pinch cardamom

1 small pinch curry powder


1. Gently squeeze the liquid from the shredded potatoes using your hands.

2. Combine with onion, eggs, flour, salt and oil in a mixing bowl.

3. In a sauté pan, heat oil on medium-high heat.  

4. Form mixture into latke patties and fry in sauté pan.

5. Cook until golden brown on each side and place on a paper towel

6. Grill or roast root vegetables in 325 degrees F until tender and browned.

7. Simmer lentils with tomato, sautéed ginger and garlic, cilantro and oil on low for 15 minutes or until tender.

8. Combine yogurt, garlic, cardamom and curry powder. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

9. On top of each latke, place 1 tbsp of the lentil mixture, spreading it evenly across the latke. Add 1 or 2 pieces of the root vegetables, and top with the yogurt. Enjoy!

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