As we were driving back from the Berkshires on Sunday, I thought about how I was going to wake up on Monday with a nice healthy smoothie, have a few solid servings of vegetables, and avoid sweets and fat at all costs……then these happened. While attempting to make latkes “a little extra special” for my husband’s Hanukkah celebrating, I somehow went from a pancake to a fritter stuffed with one of his favorite foods (and a Thanksgiving leftover). And I’m sure glad I did! These little treats were so delicious they induced texts such as “The best thing I’ve ever made!”, “I’m going to eat them all!”, “This is going to blow your mind….and your taste buds!”, “I literally died” and, (my personal favorite), “I may or may not be currently drooling all over myself!” Heaven help me (and my waistline) when we move out of our 4 floor walk-up….
Stuffing Filled Latkes with Cranberry Aioli
Makes 8 large Latke balls
For the latkes:
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
1/2 a large onion
2 tablespoons of bread crumbs
2 tablespoons of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper
1 1/2 cups of very moist stuffing (see notes)
Vegetable oil for frying
For the cranberry aioli:
3/4 cup fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon of sugar
3 teaspoons of orange juice
First, make your aioli by blending together the cranberries, mayonnaise, sugar and orange juice in a cuisinart or blender. Blend until the cranberries are finely chopped and everything is evenly combined. If you would like it to be thicker add more mayonnaise, but it you would prefer your aioli to be thinner, just add a little more orange juice. Once your aioli is done, pour into a serving bowl and set aside.
Next, start preparing your latkes. Attach the grater disk to your food processor (or use the large holes of a box grater for this next step). Grate the potatoes and onion, then place them on a large kitchen towel. Twist the towel up tightly and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Add the potato mixture to a medium-sized bowl, then toss with the egg, bread crumbs, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined and everything is sticking together (note: you don’t want the mixture to be too soupy, if it is just add a little more flour to thicken it up). Set the latke mixture aside and start forming your stuffing balls. You want them to be about 1 inch around. You can also make them a little smaller, but I wouldn’t recommend going bigger because it will be difficult to cook the insides evenly without burning the outside.
To assemble the stuffed latkes, take about 1/4 cup of the potato mixture in your hand, slightly spread out. Place a stuffing ball in the middle and then firmly wrap the mixture around the stuffing, squeezing it a few times to make sure it’s all stuck together. Complete this process until you have used up your potato mixture.
Line a tray or plate with paper towels. Then in a deep pan, begin heating your oil over medium heat. You want the oil to be about 1/8 of an inch deep, so you may need more oil depending on the diameter of your pan. After about 5 minutes, test your oil with a small piece of leftover potato or stuffing to make sure it sizzles and is hot enough. Once the oil is hot, gently place in a few of the latkes (I did 3 at a time). Cook about 5 minutes on each side (about 15 minutes total) or until it is golden brown. Remove from the oil and place on the paper towel. To keep them warm while you cook the remaining latkes, place them on a baking sheet in a 325 degree oven.
Serve immediately with the cranberry aioli sauce.
- These can be prepared and cooked in advance. Simply keep them refrigerated in an airtight container until you are ready to serve. Then heat them on a baking sheet for 12-15 minutes at 325 degrees.
- The more moist and sticky the stuffing is the better these will work. Whether you use homemade recipe or one from a package, I recommend something with a consistency similar to a Stovetop. If you need to make your stuffing mushier, simply add a little chicken broth.