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 actually 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 own 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 besting 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. He then said, “I don’t know what you did to those, but do it again. They’re delicious.”
Sweet Potato Pancakes
- 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 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.)