Chef Nir’s Potato Latkes with Beef Bacon Bits with Mole Dipping Sauce and Roasted Jalapeno Dipping Sauce
Chef Nir Weinblut from “La Gondola” restaurant in Los Angeles shares his take on the traditional Hanukkah snacks with a Latin kick!
INGREDIENTS FOR POTATO LATKES
- 1.5 pounds Russet potatoes (3 to 4 potatoes)
- 1 small to medium yellow onion,
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons matzo meal
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1-1/2 cups canola oil or high heat resistant oil for frying or enough to have 1/2 inch to ¾ of oil in a skillet.
- Depending on the size of the skillet 4 oz of fried and chopped crispy beef bacon from “thebaconguys” – optional
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE LATKES
1. For the Potatoes. Scrub the potatoes well, but do not peel. Cut each potato in half crosswise.
2. Grate potatoes and onion with a food processor or by hand. Grate the potatoes and onion using the shredding disk of a food processor or on the grater if by hand. (You can add, Yams or raw golden beets to add nice color or flavor).
3. Put potatoes and onions in fine strainer or cheesecloth and squeeze liquid from potato and onion as much as possible, the secret to crispy latkes. After shredding, if not using the pot, toes, or a water bowl, the potatoes don’t turn color.
4. When ready to use, discard the liquid, and keep the potato starch on the bottom of the bowl. Give the liquid a few minutes to allow the potato starch to settle, and then pour out the liquid.
5. Pre Heat Pan with oil.
6. Now, when ready, mix and toss all ingredients together with your fingers gently. Do not use a spoon that will mash the potatoes. Add the potatoes, onion, eggs, crispy beef bacon, matzo meal, salt, and pepper to the bowl and use the starch as a binder. Mix the starch with your fingers, making sure that the starch breaks up and is evenly distributed with the rest of the ingredients.
7. Now that the oil should be hot, keep the flame on medium-high heat and test the oil, drop a piece of the mixture in hot oil and wait for it to sizzle and float to the top. If that happens, you are ready to start.
8. Form latkes one at a time and scoop it in a large soup spoon, about a ¼ of a cup of the mixture at a time, and press with your hands that it is flat. 9. Fry the latkes until golden on both sides. Repeat until the pan is full, but the latkes aren’t crowded in the skillet. Put them in slowly since this will reduce the heat of the oil. Try to use the thickest skillet you have. It helps to maintain heat. Cook until deeply golden- brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side, adjusting the heat if necessary.
10. Drain the latkes on a paper towel or wire cooling rack. The wire rack helps the latkes cool faster and drain better, and when reheating on a wire rack, latkes are crispier.
11. Serve the latkes with the Mole dipping sauce or Roasted Jalapeno.
Roasted Jalapeno Lime Dipping Sauce
- 4 jalapenos roasted, halved (remove the seeds)
- 2 cups cilantro, stems removed
- 1/2 cup sour cream parve or dairy
- ¼ cup Mayo
- 1 tbs. chopped garlic
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp lime zest
- 1 oz Shot of fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
DIRECTIONS: 1. Combine jalapenos, cilantro, sour cream, mayo, garlic, lime juice, lime zest, and salt in a food processor bowl. Now turn on to puree and slowly pour oil until the sauce emulsifies.
Chef’s Nir Mole Sauce Recipe
- 2 Tbs Olive Oil
- 1 Chopped medium Spanish Onio
- 2 Tbs Chopped Garlic
- 1-2 Chipotle Peppers with the Adobe Sauce ( taste before adding the second pepper)
- 2 Tbs Adobo Sauce from the can
- 1 x 16oz Diced or Whole tomato in its own juice
- 3 Tsp onion powder
- 2 Cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 2 Tsp Chili powder
- ½ Tsp Coriander
- ½ Tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 Tsp Paprika (smoked)
- 1 pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tsp Sea salt
- 1 tsp of fresh cracked pepper ( fine ground – not course).
- 3 oz Dark Chocolate
Instructions: 1. Place a pot over medium heat and add the olive oil 2. Add the diced onion and garlic and sauté until the onions reach a golden color. 3. Now add the adobo sauce and add the chipotle pepper one at a time, mushing it with the spoon and the tomatoes Cook on high heat for 5 min or to a quick boil, then reduce to a low or simmer heat. 4. Now pour in the rest of the ingredients slowly and cook for 15-20 min mix with a mix and let the chocolate melt well. 5. Once fully melted and all the ingredients are fully mixed, carefully pour the mixture into a high-powered blender, and blend until smooth. 6. Now return the mixture to the pot over medium heat and Cook to reduce the Mole for 15 -25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now the Mole is ready to dip our Latkes. Sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro, or sprinkle with white sesame on mole dip.