Happy Hanukkah! The Festival of Lights. Today I wanted to do a recipe that I always loved but I think I’ve also managed to improve on: the latke. Or basically a potato pancake or fritter. They’re usually made for the Jewish Hanukkah holiday. The holiday celebrates the victory of the Maccabees-an ancient Jewish tribe-over the Greeks and last eight days. Because the Maccabees had only a small pot of oil that miraculously lasted them eight days it’s traditional to eat fried foods, hence the latke.
I named my recipe after Tom Hardy’s character on the TV show PEAKY BLINDERS because I added a twist of garlic and chili flakes to give my latkes a bit of a kick. I’m pretty sure Alfie would want a spicy, crunchy latke that’s just has just that little bit of a distinctive difference that shows appreciation of the finer things in life.
I use a floury potato, one that looks like its been through the dirt a few times. Not a shiny waxy potato. The key is to boil the potatoes fully first. It makes it much easier to get the crunchy exterior and fluffy interior.
Want to make it vegan? Substitute cornflour for the egg. One teaspoon for each egg. Or use soy milk instead. Traditionally they are served with sour cream or applesauce but you can also use ajvar.
Alfie Solomons’ latkes
3 medium potatoes
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
Dried chili flakes to taste, salt, pepper
100 ml sunflower oil
Boil the potatoes until they are fully cooked and completely soft. Check by sticking a knife in them. If it goes in easily they’re done. Wait till they cool then peel and grate them into a bowl add thinly diced onion. Grate the garlic. Put the egg in. Mix until a thick, stiff batter. Add chili flakes,salt and pepper to taste.
Add oil into a deep pan for frying. Make thin patties with the mixture and fry them until golden and crispy on the outside, fluffy in the middle. Drain on kitchen towel and eat.