Chanukah Potato Latkes with Mole & Roasted Jalapeño Lime Dipping Sauces
This recipe comes from our article Restaurant Recipes for the Holidays by June Massell from the first kosher restaurant in Beverly Hills, La Gondola. La Gondola offers traditional potato latkes with a twist–two sauces inspired by Mexican cuisine: mole and roasted jalapeño lime.
INGREDIENTS (makes about 10 to 12 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. Enough to have 1/2 inch to ¾ of oil in skillet.
- 4 oz of fried and chopped crispy beef bacon (from: thebaconguys.com); optional
- Scrub the potatoes well, but do not peel. Cut each potato in half crosswise.
- Grate potatoes and onion with a food processor (using shredding disc) or by a hand grater. Optional: You can add yams, or raw golden beets to add color or flavor.
- Put potatoes and onions in a fine strainer or cheesecloth and squeeze out liquid from potato and onion as much as possible into a bowl. This is the secret to crispy Latkes. (If not using the potatoes immediately after shredding, place them in bowl of water to prevent discoloration.)
- 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 before pouring out the liquid.
- Pre heat the pan with oil.
- Mix and gently toss all ingredients together with your fingers. Do not use a spoon because 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.
- When the oil is hot, keep flame on medium-high heat. To test the oil, drop a piece of the mixture onto the hot oil and wait for it to sizzle and float to the top. Once that happens, you are ready to start.
- Form latkes one at a time and scoop into a large soup spoon, about a ¼ of a cup of mixture at a time and press with your hands until flat.
- 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. Helps to maintain heat. Cook until deeply golden-brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side, adjusting the heat if necessary.
- Drain the latkes on paper towel or wire cooling rack. The wire rack helps the latkes to cool faster, drain better, and when reheating on wire rack, latkes are crispier.
- Serve latkes with the Mole dipping sauce or Roasted Jalapenos Lime Sauce.
Roasted Jalapeno Lime Dipping Sauce
- 4 jalapenos roasted, halved (remove the seeds)
- 2 cups cilantro, chopped & stems removed
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- ¼ cup Mayo
- 1 tbs. chopped garlic
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp lime zest
- 1 ounce of fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Combine jalapeños, cilantro, sour cream, mayo, garlic, lime juice, lime zest and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Turn on to puree. Slowly pour in oil until sauce emulsifies.
Mole Dipping Sauce
- 2 Tbs Olive Oil
- 1 Chopped medium Spanish Onion
- 2 Tbs Chopped Garlic
- 1-2 Chipotle Peppers from a can with the Adobe Sauce ( taste before adding the second pepper)
- 2 Tbs Adobe Sauce from the can
- 1 16oz can of diced or whole tomatoes 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
- Place a pot over medium heat and add the olive oil
- Add the diced onion and garlic. Sauté until onions reach a golden color.
- Add the adobe sauce and add the chipotle pepper one at a time mushing it with the spoon and add the tomatoes. Cook on high heat for 5 min or to a quick boil; then reduce to a low or simmer heat.
- Pour in the rest of the ingredients slowly and let cook for 15-20 min. Stir and let the chocolate melt well.
- Once fully melted and all the ingredients are fully mixed, carefully pour the mixture into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
- 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 for dipping. Optional: Sprinkle fresh chopped cilantro or white sesame seeds on top of mole dip.
June Massell is a New York based journalist and strategic communications specialist. She was a four-time Emmy award winning national television news correspondent, investigative reporter and news & documentary producer. She reported for The Newshour on PBS, for ABC Network News (Nightline, World News Tonight, Good Morning America), and NBC in New York and Chicago. She also produced for the news and documentary divisions of CBS and NBC Network News and worked on 60 Minutes. She has a strategic communications consulting practice and helps institutions “tell their story”. With a passion for travel, story telling, and food, June is a freelance travel writer who has told stories from destinations all around the world.