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Renwald: ‘Thanksgivukkah’ offers up a rare culinary fusion

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Sweet Potato Latkes

5 sweet potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated

1 small onion, chopped finely

1/3 cup matzo meal

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

pinch of grated nutmeg

6 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

vegetable oil for frying

Combine sweet potatoes, onion, matzo meal, eggs, sage and seasoning in a medium bowl. In a nonstick skillet over high heat, heat oil until hot. Use a large spoon to transfer some of the mixture to the skillet. Flatten each latke to a 3-inch diameter. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until golden brown. Flip and repeat. Transfer latkes using slotted spoon or spatula to paper towels.

Serve immediately or keep warm in oven set at 250-degrees. Serve with sour cream and applesauce.

Updated: December 21, 2013 6:16AM



The merchandise with clever sayings, the silly social media hashtags, and the all-out grandeur that the media has pushed out about “Thanksgivukkah” has turned this hybrid of a holiday into something much larger than a portmanteau word.

The unlikely coincidence that Thanksgiving happens to fall on the first day of Hanukkah won’t occur again for another 70,000 years, so the rare novelty gives us reason enough to celebrate — especially with a smorgasbord of two holidays’ worth of food.

But a lot of the press about this fusion showcases ways to incorporate traditional Hanukkah ingredients into a classic American Thanksgiving. Matzo stuffing and a kosher turkey certainly make a Thanksgivukkah easy to pull off, but what if the powers were reversed?

Instead of a classic American Thanksgiving with hints of Hanukkah, try out a historic Hanukkah dinner with just a tinge of Thanksgiving flavors. It is certainly more adventurous and, in the end, will result in a more memorable feast.

Latkes, the ultimate Hanukkah staple, retain an ideal palate for an autumn upgrade. A simple yet delicious substitute for grated potatoes comes in the form of the sweet potato, one of the Thanksgiving table’s favorite stars. The sweet potato is an instant pinch-hitter with a flavor bolder and brighter than a white potato, but it comes with the same field play that the white potato gets in terms of cooking time and texture.

It adapts well to savory or sweet situations, which just happens to be ideal for putting a Thanksgiving spin on this Hanukkah classic.

This recipe for sweet potato latkes goes down the savory route, remaining true to its brethren that decorate a traditional Hanukkah table.

In addition to the conventional ingredients — onion, matzo meal, and eggs — a little bit of autumn flavor fries into these sweet potato pancakes. Finely chopped fresh sage leaves give the same greenery that parsley or scallion might, but the flavor is entirely seasonal and evokes a faint similarity to a Thanksgiving turkey’s dressing. Fresh grated nutmeg completes the flavors with a blast of spicy punch in each bite.

Such a tasty take on an old recipe, these latkes don’t have to be reserved for Thanksgivukkah. And if you don’t even celebrate both holidays, try sampling them at your Thanksgiving table for a unique side.



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