Latkes — also known as potato pancakes — have been traditionally served at Hanukkah to commemorate the miracle of the oil — how a tiny bit of lamp oil in the holy temple lasted eight days. Nowadays, the only miracle is how not to gain weight eating them.
One trick is to lighten the load by using half grated potatoes and half grated zucchini or grated apple — quite yummy. Also, latkes don’t have to be deep-fried. They can be pan-fried with just a little oil.
Here’s a favorite recipe of ours from Marilu Henner’s cookbook Healthy Holidays: Total Health Entertaining All Year Round (ReganBooks), which is a treasure-trove of healthful recipes. In this recipe, she oven-bakes the latkes in a muffin tin.
Healthy Potato Latkes
- 2 tablespoons plus 6 teaspoons canola oil
- 1 medium organic Spanish onion
- 6 medium organic baking potatoes
- 2 large cage-free eggs
- 2 tablespoons matzo meal
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a heavy nonstick saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add onion and saute until softened, about 10 minutes. Cool.
Coarsely grate the potatoes into a mixing bowl. Squeeze out the excess liquid or drain in a colander. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and mix in the sauteed onion, eggs, matzo meal, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Grease a 12-cup nonstick muffin pan well and pour 1/3 cup potato mixture into each muffin tin. Smooth the tops lightly and spoon 1/2 teaspoon oil over each.
Bake about 45 minutes, or until firm and browned at the edges. Remove from the oven and run a small, sturdy rubber spatula around the edges of the latkes to release them. You can leave them in the pan 15 to 30 minutes to keep hot.