I like to think of latkes as a sort of flattened French fry-toothsome and crispy on the outside and warm and soft in the middle. But the frying that delivers these perfect results is exactly what makes latkes unhealthy. Luckily, we've created a healthier Crispy Potato Latke recipe that's just as delicious as a traditional version, and easy to make too.
We turned to a time-tested method to get crisp latkes without a lot of fat: pan-fry the latkes in a small amount of oil and finish them in a hot oven for a few minutes. To amp up the flavor and compensate for the lack of "shmaltz" (chicken fat) called for in traditional recipes, we added more onion and chopped shallot. With 75% less fat and 61% fewer calories, the results are delicious-a small culinary miracle. A perfect recipe for a healthy Hanukkah celebration featuring Braised Brisket & Roots and Quick Applesauce.
Here are the results of our latke recipe makeover:
- 277 calories
- 17 grams total fat
- 4 grams saturated fat
EatingWell's Crispy Potato Latkes
- 108 calories
- 4 grams total fat
- 1 gram saturated fat
Crispy Potato Latkes
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (about 2), shredded
1 medium white onion, shredded
2 medium shallots, minced (about 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 pieces whole-wheat matzo (6-by-6-inch), broken into pieces
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
3 tablespoons peanut oil or extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1. Toss shredded potato, onion, shallots and salt in a medium bowl. Transfer to a sieve set over a large bowl; let drain for about 15 minutes. Squeeze the potato mixture, a handful at a time, over the bowl to release excess moisture (don't oversqueeze-some moisture should remain). Transfer the squeezed potato mixture to another large bowl. Carefully pour off the liquid, leaving a pasty white sediment-potato starch-in the bottom of the bowl. Add the starch to the potato mixture. Stir in egg.
2. Put matzo pieces in a sealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin into coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the crumbs and pepper over the potato mixture and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate until the matzo is softened, 20 to 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir the potato mixture. Cook 4 latkes per batch: place 1/4 cup potato mixture in a little of the oil and press with the back of a spatula to flatten into a 3 1/2-inch cake. Cook until crispy and golden, 1 1/2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the latkes to the prepared baking sheet. Continue with 2 more batches, using 1 tablespoon oil per batch and reducing the heat as needed to prevent scorching. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until heated through, about 10 minutes.
Makes 12 latkes.
Per latke: 100 calories; 4 g fat (1 g sat, 2 g mono); 18 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrate; 2 g protein; 2 g fiber; 204 mg sodium; 278 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (20% daily value).
By Hilary Meyer
EatingWell assistant editor Hilary Meyer spends much of her time in the EatingWell Test Kitchen, testing and developing healthy recipes. She is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute.
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