Latke Topping Bar

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Chanukah begins next week, and, this year, it's perfectly timed between the seasonal bookends of Thanksgiving and New Years. If a gathering is in the back of your mind, I highly recommend this route of celebrating the holiday: a latke topping bar! Extremely versatile and equally appropriate for a small or large group, your only pre-party requirement is latke frying. I recommend prepping the latkes the night beforehand, during which you can cover and refrigerate. To reheat, simply toast in the oven on 425 degrees until crispy. Then, scatter small bowls of creative toppings on a bar cart or buffet!

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SPIRALIZED SWEET POTATO LATKES ingredients

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and spiralized
  • 1 scallions, white and light-green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Oil, for frying

TRADITIONAL MINI POTATO LATKES ingredients

  • 2 large Russet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and grated
  • 1 large onion, peeled and grated
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 easpoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Oil, for frying

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Toss all ingredients until combined and evenly coated.
  2. Fill a large skillet with about 1/2 inch oil. Place over medium heat until oil is almost smoking. (To test, drop a small bit of batter into the skillet; it should sizzle upon contact.)
  3. Working in batches so as not to crowd skillet, carefully spoon one heaping tablespoon of batter into oil for each latke. Lightly tamp down to flatten into 1 1/2 inch cakes. Cook, turning once, until golden on each side, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spatula, transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining batter.

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ARUGULA, SMOKED SALMON, CRÉME FRAÎCHE AND GREEN ONION: Add a small bunch of crunchy, peppery arugula, a slice of nova, and top with a small spoonful of crème fraîche—store-bought or handmade. The green onion garnish adds an extra punch of color and spice.

GREEK YOGURT AND BRANDIED FIGS Cover chopped figs with just enough brandy to reach halfway up the sides of a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring and tossing the fruit, then turn off the heat and cover the pot; let sit for an hour. Drain figs and use them to garnish plain and healthy greek yogurt-adorned latkes.

APPLE BUTTER (OR APPLESAUCE) WITH CINNAMON: The most traditionally-styled topping calls for sweet apple and a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg. Homemade apple butter is pure delight, though many find store-bought applesauce perfectly appropriate as a potato topper.

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Special thanks to FIX Magazine and Troy Glasgow.