Enjoying fried latkes without a side of guilt

12/05/2012 9:00 PM

12/05/2012 7:02 AM

Traditional potato latkes are a widely loved Hanukkah staple. And what’s not to love about hamburger-sized hash browns topped with sour cream?

Wonderful as they are, latkes are not light, so I devised a recipe to cut the fat and calorie count. My re-design employs sweet potatoes as well as traditional white potatoes, significantly reducing the amount of oil required to cook these bad boys. I also substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream.

Sweet potatoes, especially the intensely orange ones, are a terrific source of beta carotene as well as potassium, vitamin C and fiber. And despite their sweetness, they are not high in calories. But because they’re also not very high in starch, they need a starchy partner. Hence the white potatoes, along with egg and flour as a binder.

Figuring out how to crisp up these latkes without a ton of oil was the hardest part of developing this recipe. After much trial and error, I realized I could create a satisfactory crust if I added 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan for the first side and 1 tablespoon after I flipped them.

I finish them in a 350-degree oven because the sweet potatoes, with their high sugar content, turn the latkes dark if left on the stove for more than a few minutes.

The chipotle yogurt topping provides the Southwestern flavor. Sugar and chiles do a happy dance, balancing each other off. It’s the finishing touch on latkes that would be a great little side dish any time of the year.

Sara Moulton is the host of Sara’s Weeknight Meals on public television and the author of Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners.

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