Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sweet Potato Latkes and Pickles?

These are the best sweet potato latkes I've made, this year, for the first night of Hanukkah, and my camera went "blank" on me...the screen, just totally gave out. My nine year old granddaughter, (bless her little heart) stepped right in, to take the first shot...and that's the only photo I have of this, while still frying in the cast iron skillet, she took such a nice pic. I finally got my new camera-Canon SX130 IS, which I will be taking my photos of my foods. Gabriella did not waste any time, checking out my camera, while I was still reading the instruction book, she already took such amazing photos of the Christmas tree, and her little brother, and figured out the video. Fort the sweet potato latkes, the real secret to it, as far as I'm concerned, the best way to make it crisp, and not come out soggy, you have to add a couple of Idaho potatoes to it, and make sure, you use matzo meal, instead of flour.

I have been wanting to make my homemade pickles for quite a while now, but not been able to, because I could not find the small cucumbers for pickles. I really like the Kirby brand, but cannot  find them anywhere. While at Costco's, I found a bag of these cute gourmet mini cukes and got all excited, about jarring them...and the jar?...yeahh..."thrift find" a quart size  light blue mason jar, 2 of them, from Goodwill, for $.99. each.
All you have to do is to sterilize the jar in the dishwasher, just run it through a regular wash with the other dishes, prepare the brine= vinegar and water, and pack them tightly in the jar with the boiled water/vinegar, and the herbs. I will post the recipe for the latkes, and the pickles. I also have a Tagging to pass to 15 bloggers., with 7 questions...tthanks to my sweet friend Jo, from Chic & Gorgeous, who passed the tagging to me, last week. So, I'm posting the recipes, and also the tagging.
Sweet Potato Latkes

2 Idaho, or any kind of white potatoes
4 medium sweet potatoes
1 medium onion chopped
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
2 eggs
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup of matzo meal

First peel and  cut onion into large chunks, peel the rosemary sprig. In food processor, chop the onion with the rosemary, and empty the food processor container, put the onion mixture into a large bowl. Change the chopper to a grating disk, cut the potatoes into chunks to pass through the chute, to grate, or grate the peeled potatoes on a hand grater.
Have a large bowl of water ready, as soon as you grate the potatoes, put the grated potatoes in the bowl of water, so they don't turn color. Squeeze as much water from the potatoes, and place them into the bowl with the onion mixture, and add the matzo meal on top of the potatoes, along with the 2 whole eggs,

By this time, have the vegetable oil ready, in a large heavy skillet, have the oven set on 350 degrees, along with a aluminum lined baking pan. Also have a large platter ready, when the latkes come out of the oven. Mix the potato mixture with the matzo meal, eggs, salt and pepper...work quickly, to form about 3 inch patties with with a 1/4 measuring scoop, and drop them directly into the hot oil. Do not touch them for about 1 minute, let them fry a little (this way they don't fall apart, when you flip them) With a metal spatula, flip them over, and pat it down, to make nice thin crispy and flaky pancakes.

Fry them a few minutes more, until they are lightly fried. Next step-place all the latkes on the baking sheet, and bake them in the oven, for about 25 minutes, flipping them over after about 10 minutes. When you take them out of the oven, put them carefully on a paper towel lined platter, and stack them up making sure lining them with more paper in between them. They are ready to serve at this time, and you can still heat them a little if they get cold. Serve with dollops of sour cream and apple sauce.
Serves 12 latkes

Homemade Dill Pickles

Small pickling cucumbers (about 1 dozen)
4 cups water
1 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon black peppercorn
dash of kosher salt
1 bayleaf
2 whole garlic cloves
1 small bunch fresh dill


2 Wash your mason quart jars in hot, soapy water (or dishwasher), rinse and fill with hot water; set aside.

3 Fill a large pot half-full with hottest tap water; set on burner over high heat.

4 In a medium saucepan, fit lids and rings together, cover with water, bring to a simmer.

5 In a large saucepan, bring water, vinegar and salt to boil; turn off the heat; set aside.

 6 FILL JARS: ( I used 2, 1 quart size jars) place a layer of dill at the bottom of each jar, along with one garlic clove (if used), the peppercorn, and the bay leaf, sprinkle som kosher salt... then TIGHTLY load the cukes into the jar to the NECK of the jar (depending on size you may get two nice layers with a few small cukes in the top--)---squeeze cukes into the jar tightly--uniform size helps; add a few TINY spriglets of dill at the top, too, and another garlic clove if desired.

7 Once jars are loaded, pour in the brine leaving half-inch head space in each jar.

8 Add lid and ring to each jar, tightening evenly.

9 Place jars into pot with water JUST to the necks of the jars.

10 Bring water ALMOST to a boil (about 15 minutes--depending on how fast it heats up).

11 Remove jars, set on a dish towel on the kitchen counter, cover with another dish towel & let cool.

12. Check for seal (indented lid), label jars or lids, store in the refrigerator. Will keep fresh and crunchy for up to 3 months-if it lasts that long.


  1. now this one is right up my alley love the sweet pot...great idea!

  2. Latkes and pickles both makes me hungry..

  3. Mmmm those sweet potato laktes look sooooo good. And so do the pickes! Thanks so much for the recipes!
    Thank you for tagging me, I'll answer the questions as soon as possible!

  4. Sweet potato laktes looks good. My hubby loves pickled cucumbers.

  5. What a great way to use sweet potatoes, and I'm so impressed with your pickles. I've never made pickles before (or jam or anything like that). I need to expand my horizons! Thank you for tagging me Elisabeth, I'll try and get to the questions soon!

  6. Elizabeth, latkes in the cast iron skillet look so crispy and wonderfuly golden,and with sour cream...mmm..mmmm and you know I am trying to loose some weight,if I look at this picture one more time I will break all resolve..lol BTW that is my new years resolution ;) Thanks for tagging me I will try and answer all these fun questions quickly:)

  7. Sweet potato latkes sound so yummy! I'm always excited to hear that people are pickeling their own veggies for winter. I pickeled banana and jalapeno peppers and cucumbres from my garden through August and September. If you are interested, you can read my pickeling post at: http://indulginglife.blogspot.com/2010/09/preserving-food-for-winter-pickled.html#more

  8. I love fresh pickles!! The latkes look good. It's been tougher lately finding good jars in lots of sizes. I've turned to ordering online when necessary. Awesome thrift store find!

  9. Hi Elisabeth... how are you? Those latkes looks fantastic. I like them still warm with sour cream. Yum.
    Thank you for tagging me. How exciting! :)
    Have a great day.

  10. love the sweet potato latkes! They sound pretty delicious and can't wait to see the new camera in action!

  11. Those latkes must be really tasty with the sweet potatoes. Great way to use sweet potatoes. The pickles look wonderful too. For some reason those cukes are difficult to come by and they are pretty expensive too. Glad you found some for your pickles :)

  12. Latkes sounds so good, I've never had one. Anything fried with potatoes has to be good. Your pickles sound good too. Aren't kids wonderful at showing you how to use electronics. Thanks for tagging me.

  13. making latkes with sweet potato is a fabulous idea, i sometimes make them with raw papaya !

    US Masala

  14. I am a new follower. Love your blog. Thanks for friending me on Foodbuzz.

    Dana@ Bookgirl in the Kitchen

  15. What a great eye your sweet grandaughter has! These latkes look just delicious! I love the thought of using sweet potato. And of course...I'm always in the mood for homemade pickles. Thank you so much for sharing, my sweet friend!

  16. These latkes just made mu must-try-soon list. They look delicious.

  17. Elisa...those potato pancakes look so yummy...I have always wanted to make pickles...but I have a fear of canning jars...hee hee hee...

  18. Oooh Thanks for tagging me! I read this title and for some reason I chuckled. I think it was the addition of the question mark.
    Thank you for putting up a canning recipe with canning instructions that actually make sense! I am excited because I love pickles and have always wanted to make them. Thank you so much for sharing! :)

  19. your granddaughter is going to be a great photographer, she has such a great eye. your latkes look so good and love home made pickles
    have a wonderful week

  20. Thanks for tagging me, Lizzie!!! I'll answer on my next post :)

    Looks like you have a future blogger in training...she did a marvelous job on the photo!!!

  21. Those pickles look incredible! But I have a question for you re matzo meal - do you think panko breadcrumbs would be a suitable (but probably non-kosher) substitute?

  22. Your granddaughter has a good eye!! Do we see a flod blog in her future???!!! =)

  23. hii Elisabeth, how are u?
    Ur grand daughter sure is fantastic!!
    And congrats on ur wonderful new camera!!!

  24. Awesome photograph and mouth watering latkes......great job!!!

  25. I remembered reading this pickle recipe when I first became one of your followers,, came back today because I bought some little cukes today and we are out of pickles,, sounds yummy,, thanks for sharing this,,I'll let you know how I do,, LOL