If you follow me on twitter, or tumblr, or know me in real life - you've probably heard me ramble in excitement in the run-up to Hanukkah. Don't ask me why, but I've been unusually excited by the 8-day festival of lights, which has most definitely been hyped up out of pity for Jewish kids who have felt left out over the insanity that is Christmas**. Anyways, in my zealousness, I've been emotionally preparing myself for latkes, and variations there of (my favorites are a mixture of potatoes, carrots, and zucchini), but found myself wholly discouraged by the relentless Noah's Ark style rain that has been beating down New York City for the last 36 hours to actually go out and shop for potatoes. ALAS. What about APPLE latkes? They'd be healthier, damn near exactly the same in texture, and I could finally make use of the several dozen apples sitting on my kitchen counter!
Step 1: Select three medium sized apples. Carefully peel them; it's okay if some of the skin remains.
Step 2: Grate your apples using the coarse side of a grater.
Step 3: Add 1 large egg and 2 tablespoons of flour to the grated apples. Mix! Don't be afraid to use your (clean, recently washed) hands.
Step 4: Add vegetable oil to a large skillet and heat the pan. Keep the pan at low to medium heat. Using a tablespoon, scoop small amounts of the apple mixture and flatten them to 1.5" in diameter. Turn them over several times until they've reached a satisfactory level of golden-brown-ness, (I like my latkes super crispy and almost burnt!) As you take them out of the pans, place the latkes on a paper towel or recycled paper bag to absorb the excess oil.
Step 5: When the latkes are cool to the touch, place them on your favorite serving tray and top with a dollop of sour cream! If that's not your thing, check out this article in the NY Times for some inspiring latke toppings.
I declared myself a genius and then was made aware (thanks, Jesse) that Smitten Kitchen had only just posted a recipe for apple latkes. Of course, this was after I had made mine and pat myself on the back several times. That said, her recipe is probably better, but mine was still an original idea!
*My Surrogate family is not technically a "surrogate family," but rather, a family here in NYC I've become very close with that has practically adopted me, and whose home, gratefully, feels like home to me, too.
** Suffice to say, I mean this to the extent that Christmas has been commercialized and de-secularized to the extent that it's celebrated presently.