Sweet Potato & Fennel Latkes

I’m back with some latkes for Chanukah! I couldn’t neglect the blog for this holiday – one of my favorite foodie holidays! Each year, I love coming up with fun, new twists on the traditional latke. From carrot ginger to corned beef and cabbage, I always have fun with this holiday treat. And this year, Chanukah coincides with Christmas, giving us Christmukkah. Did I spell it right? Just like Hanukkah, it has a bunch of different spellings. Anyhow, it’s time to have some fun.

This latke recipe that I’m sharing with you came about when I was eyeing the fennel at the local vegetable market. I love fennel, but I was thinking about how I could do something other than my standard of roasting it. And then I thought about Chanukah and latkes. I didn’t think it would stand up on it’s own as a latke, but I figured that if I combined it with a more starchy veggie, it could work. A regular potato is too plain in flavor, so I looked to the sweet potato and thought that the flavor combo could work. The sweet with the anise flavor.

I shredded up a couple of sweet potatoes with two fennel bulbs, along with some onion and garlic. I squeezed out whatever liquid I could get out of it. I mixed everything in a bowl with some egg, flour, salt and pepper. Then I fried the latke patties in some canola oil – draining them when they were crisp on both sides. You do have to be careful when frying, because these latkes go from nicely crisp to very burnt very quickly.

I’m so happy  with the way these latkes turned out though. It’s a nice change from the standard potato pancake. I served these latkes with the traditional sour cream, but these would also be great with creme fraiche or maybe a horseradish sauce. Have fun with it! Enjoy!

Sweet Potato & Fennel Latkes
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tbsp. all purpose flour or gluten free flour
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
  • canola oil for frying
  1. Shred all of the veggie in your food processor with a grating disc, or shred by hand
  2. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible
  3. Mix everything together in a large bowl with the salt, pepper, eggs and flour
  4. Heat a large fry pan on medium high. Add oil to pan.
  5. Form mixture into small thin patties and fry in oil. About two minutes per side, until evenly brown and crispy.
  6. Drain on a cooling rack or on paper towels.
  7. Serve with sour cream or other topping.
  8. Enjoy!

Smoked Plantain Chips


I love plantain chips when I am looking for something crunchy to snack on. I love the flavor. Sprinkled with a little salt – it’s the perfect treat.

It never occurred to me to make my own though. Whenever I pick up some green plantains in the market, I tend to stick with tostones or use them in a hash. I’ve always relied on the bagged chips though. Not sure why – especially now that I know how easy they are to make.

What I don’t like about the bagged variety are the additives. Way too much oil and sometimes other preservatives might be added to the mix. Plantains are a fairly healthy starch and when prepared properly, are not so bad for you!


So I made my own. And since I couldn’t just be all simple, I needed to spice it up. I chose to go the smokey route. I added some smoked paprika, garlic and salt. So easy! Tossed it all on some olive oil. Laid it on a baking sheet and then baked it for about 30 minutes or so, flipping over once. How easy can it get?

I let them cool about a minute before munching on them. They were so good. I’ve definitely given up my bagged plantain chip habit. These are so much better!

Smoked Plantain Chips
  • 3 Green Plantains
  • 1.5 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1.5 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • sea salt
  • ½ tbsp. garlic powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Peel the plantains (use the linked how-to guide)
  3. Slice the plantains thinly on a diagonal
  4. In a large bowl, toss the plantains with the oil and spices
  5. Lay the plantain chips in a single layer on a baking sheet
  6. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until crisp. Flip the chips half-way through the baking process and check on them toward the end to ensure that they aren't burning.
  7. Cool for a few minutes before eating.
  8. Enjoy!


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Carrot Ginger Latkes


Another night of Chanukah, another latke recipe. Or so it goes.

These latkes were inspired by one of me and my daughter’s favorite soup recipes. We both love carrot ginger soup in the fall.

I made a carrot latke years ago, and I vaguely recall it being tasty, so I thought I would give this a try.

I shredded some carrots,  an onion,  a small potato,  some ginger and some cilantro in the Cuisinart food processor.

I transferred the mixture to a bowl and drained whatever liquid I could out of the veggie mixture.

Next, I added some flour, eggs, garlic powder, salt and pepper to the mix.

I heated up the oil in my fry pan and fried the patties until done. You have to keep your eyes on the latkes because they can go from perfect to burnt very quickly. I drained the latkes on a cooling rack set over paper towels.

I served these latkes with cilantro and an option of sour cream or horseradish sauce.

These latkes will definitely be made again!

Carrot Ginger Latkes
  • 6 carrots, peeled
  • 1 small Idaho Russet potato, peeled
  • 1 small onion, peeled
  • 2 tbsp. fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • oil for frying
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
  1. Wash and peel the veggies.
  2. With the shredding blade on a food processor, shred the carrots, potato, onion, ginger and cilantro.
  3. Transfer everything to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Drain as much liquid as possible from the shredded vegetables.
  5. Mix in the salt, pepper, flour, garlic powder, flour and eggs.
  6. Heat up about an inch of oil in a large fry pan.
  7. Fry the latkes, carefully flipping as they began to crisp up.
  8. Drain the cooked latkes on a paper towel lined cooling rack.
  9. Sample the latke and adjust seasoning as needed.
  10. Serve with a latke topping of your choice.
  11. Enjoy!



Crispy Rice Cakes with Spicy Salmon


My husband and I recently checked out a new sushi place in our area. My husband was blown away by this raw tuna dish I picked out. The spicy tuna was served over these crispy rice cakes. He gushed over the dish and told me that I had to cook up something similar as soon as possible.

His raw fish of choice is usually salmon.  So the next weekend, he made a beeline for the market and bought around a half a pound of sushi-grade wild salmon.

He pulled out the rice cooker and begged me to make my version of the dish.

I made some sushi rice and seasoned it. I then shaped it in to various shapes. I tried shaping it both with my hands and with a rice mold. I then pan fried it in a combination of rice bran oil and sesame oil. While frying the rice cakes, I lightly sprinkled the cakes with some soy sauce for extra flavor.

While the rice cakes were crisping up, I got to work on the salmon.

I skinned the salmon. I saved the salmon skin for sushi rolls.  I then chopped up the salmon in to small bits. I mixed the salmon with some mayonnaise, some sriracha, sesame oil and chopped scallions.



I served this mixture on top of the rice cakes. You can dip the rice cakes in additional soy sauce if desired or serve with wasabi or even more sriracha. Enjoy!

Crispy Rice Cake with Spicy Salmon
  • 1.5 cups raw sushi rice, cooked and seasoned (use this recipe)
  • .40 lbs of sushi-grade wild salmon
  • 1 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. sriracha
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 4 scallions. Chopped plus extra for garnish
  • 1-2 tbsp. rice bran oil
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • soy sauce or tamari
  1. Cook the sushi rice and season with seasoned rice vinegar.
  2. Chop up the raw salmon and place in a bowl.
  3. Mix in the mayonnaise, sriracha, sesame oil and scallions.
  4. Form the cooked sushi rice in to shapes and fry in the heated and oiled pan. Let the rice cakes brown a bit on each side. Sprinkle soy sauce over the rice cakes and brown some more. The rice cakes should be crispy.
  5. Place a dollop of the salmon mixture over each rice cake and enjoy! Serve with soy sauce, extra sriracha and/or wasabi.

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Deli Roll Cook-a-Long

I had never heard of or seen this popular Shabbat food until I was 21 or so and spending a Shabbat in Far Rockaway. Upon seeing this strudelly thing, I was a bit skeptical. I wasn’t quite sure what was wrapped up in the dough…and I am not usually a big fan of the old heimish food thing. It was either that, cholent, or kishka, so I opted for a slice of deli roll to accompany the salad on my plate. I was impressed by how good it was. Who knew you could do that with deli meat. Of course this dish is by no means healthy food.

I had no idea it was so popular until joining up on some Jewish message boards where people posted their assorted recipes for deli rolls. There is even a facebook group that shows off their love of deli roll. I recall one trip back home to the Midwest where I made a deli roll for my parents. I think they were a bit scared of it.

There are many different variations of deli roll and no exact measurements.

I start out by sautéing some onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika

Roll out some puff pastry dough, either store bought or your favorite recipe. Spread some honey mustard and half of the sautéed onions on the dough. I have heard of some people using Thousand Island Dressing in place of the honey mustard.

Lay out turkey pastrami slices on top of the mixture. Spread another layer of honey mustard and the onions. Lay out slices of beef pastrami

Roll up into a log. Cut slits in the roll, bake at 375 degrees. Drain fat from the pan.

Slice when cooled down

Shabbat Shalom!

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