Saturday, January 18, 2020 -
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Latkes with a kick

We’ve been busy in our test kitchen this week, trying out recipes from the Chanukah Foods section coming out tomorrow. This year the IJN was inspired by the brother and sister duo behind Blue Bonnet, Gary Mobell and Marcy Rosenberg. It’s no surprise that their recipes feature ingredients from south of the border, like sweet potatoes, tomatillos and lots and lots of chilies. Looking for something other than grated Idaho potatoes, we decided to try out the recipe for sweet potato latkes. We’ll certainly be repeating this recipe on Chanukah itself. The sweetness of the potatoes, set off with a kick of cinnamon and finally the salsa that is somehow both refreshing and spicy makes for a wonderful alternative latka.

We hope Gary, Marcy and their chef Luis won’t take it personally, but for our salsa we used only 2 Habaneros, and were happy with the heat factor. The dollop of sour cream balanced the flavors perfectly. We also used tinned tomatillos, so instead heated those with the chopped up chili, then blended in the garlic.

Make sure to pick up Chanukah Foods for more recipes, including the Blue Bonnet’s unique chili-raspberry jam.

Sweet Potato Latkes with Tomatillo Salsa

From the IJN's Chanukah Foods


  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes or yams (or combination)
  • 2 large beaten eggs
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • A couple sprinkles black pepper
  • ½ cup - ¾ cup olive oil (We used a mix of olive and safflower oils)
  • Sour cream

Tomatillo Salsa

  • 1 lb. tomatillos (green tomatoes)
  • 1 head of garlic peeled
  • 2 habanero peppers
  • Handful of cilantro
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Peel and grate the sweet potatoes. Drain of excess liquid. Mix with the beaten eggs, flour, cinnamon, sugar, salt and pepper.
  2. In a 12-inch or slightly larger non-stick pan begin to heat up the oil. Pat the potato mixture into 3-inch round patties making sure they are well condensed and sticking together nicely. Place 4 latkes in the pan at a time and fry on each side until brown and crispy. Each family likes their latkes at different consistencies from slightly browned to almost black and very crispy. Note that sugar burns quickly and turns things black faster, so flip the latkes often.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the salsa, cook the tomatillos in hot water until they're soft. Cook the garlic in the oven at 350°F with a little olive oil until it turns brown. Blend all the tomatillos, garlic, chilies, cilantro, salt and pepper.

Recipe Notes

The original recipe calls for 10-15 habanero peppers, which seemed like far too many considering the heat level of habaneros. If you love heat, experiment with increasing.

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