Our winning contribution to the Sylvia Center Latke Festival was our Okinawa Latke. When creating this Japanese-influenced spin on the classic potato pancake, we received our initial inspiration for the recipe from chestnuts, which we love and use frequently this time of year in the PRINT. kitchen.
We incorporated chestnuts in the topping, but we also added a nutty twist to the potato base by using Japanese white sweet potatoes in our mix, which have red skins and a dry white flesh, and a uniquely sweet chestnut-like flavor. The dry texture is especially good for ensuring crispy latkes, and for classicism we combined them with the more traditional Yukon Gold potatoes. The latke part of this recipe is pretty straightforward, but we contrasted that by making the garnishes very Japanese and modern: playing off the usual sour cream and apple sauce with a miso crème fraîche and persimmon, another winter ingredient we like to use in the PRINT. kitchen. In a funny coincidence the New York Time Magazine ran a recipe for an okonomi latke last week . I guess Japanese latkes are on several people’s minds this year.
PRINT. Recipe: Okinawa Latke
Makes 24-30 ct. 2-inch latkes
1 lb chestnuts
3 tablespoons duck fat, schmaltz, or butter
3 tablespoons white miso or koji (fermented rice paste)
1 tablespoon zest of meyer lemon
1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 large onions, grated
1.5 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, grated
1.5 lbs Japanese white sweet potatoes
1/3 cups flour
Vegetable oil or schmaltz to fill a non stick pan ½ inch
1 large Asian pear or 2 fuyu persimmons for garnish
Togarashi spice blend
Micro shiso, scallions, radish greens (if you want to be extra fancy)
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Make the miso crème fraîche: whisk together the White Miso or Koji, Meyer lemon zest and crème fraîche, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour to set.
Score and roast the chestnuts: Cut an X in the round part of the chestnut. Place the chestnuts in a cast iron skillet or baking dish. Drizzle with your fat of choice and salt liberally. Roast for 25-30 minutes. Allow the cooked chestnuts to cool for 5-10 minutes, then peel 12 chestnuts and cut in them in half for latkes. You can enjoy the rest! Note: The chestnuts can be roasted and peeled up to 3 days ahead, just keep them in a sealed container in the fridge, re-warm in the oven 5-10 minutes at 375 degrees.
Make the latkes: While chestnuts are roasting, beat the eggs in a small bowl. Grate onions and potatoes on large holes of box grater, on a mandolin, or with a food processor attachment. Mix the onions and potatoes together in a large bowl. Drain any liquid out by putting a cup full in a towel and squeezing. Put the dry mixture in separate bowl. Add the eggs and flour to the onion and potato mixture. Mix with your hands and add salt and pepper to taste — the potatoes will need a lot of salt, at least 2 teaspoons.
Heat ½ inch of vegetable oil in nonstick skillet.
Take large spoonful of potato mixture, flatten it in your hand and fry for 2-3 minutes per side until the latke is crispy and golden.
Top with the miso crème fraîche, a roasted chestnut, a slice of Asian pear or persimmon, and sprinkle of togarashi and microgreens.