Photo by by Annaliese Bischoff
Provenance of Dish
There was no greater personal joy than winning a cooking contest for one of my crazy latke recipes over 10 years ago. I am an experimental and enthusiastic home cook who first started writing down my recipes in 2010. My crazy parsnip and sweet potato latke recipe later got published in a cookbook edited by New York Times food editors. This latke recipe with a shiitake and fennel combination offers an interesting dusky flavor.
½ cup fresh shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced and then diced
1 fresh fennel bulb (about 1/2 cup)
1 yellow onion (@1/2 cup)
3 russet potatoes (or Yukon gold) (@2 cups)
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated (@1 oz)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh milled ground fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon fresh milled black pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 ounces flour
peanut or grapeseed oil
thick Greek plain yogurt or sour cream for serving (@1 cup)
sliced green scallions and chives for garnish
unsweetened apple sauce, optional for serving (@1 cup)
1. Place the chopped mushrooms into a large mixing bowl.
2. Hand grate the fennel bulb and onion (using the large holes) into the bowl with the mushrooms. I think hand grating is the only way to go for these.
3. Wash and scrub the russet (or Yukon) potatoes very well, leaving the skins on. Remove any imperfections. Grate these into the bowl, too. Add the salt, pepper, fennel, and ginger. Let rest a few minutes.
4. Using a colander (or cheesecloth if you prefer) wring all the excess moisture from the mix. Repeat, and then return to the bowl. You can also squeeze handfuls of the mix in your (very clean) hands to help.
5. Mix in the beaten eggs and flour.
6. Generously coat the bottom of a heavy pan with peanut oil (or other suitable oil). The oil need not be deeper than 1/8 inch, if even that. If you prefer thicker latkes, then you might have up to1/4 inch oil. Heat to medium high until a drop of liquid would sizzle in the pan.
7. Working in small batches ladle the mix to the heated pan to form 5-7 latkes with about a 3-inch diameter and about a 1/4 inch thickness after pressing down gently on the mix with a spatula. Fry each one on one side until golden brown, then flip and cook the other side until golden. Try to keep the depth of oil as low as possible, but make sure the all the ingredients cook through- soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside. Drain on paper towels. You should have 15-20 golden latkes from this recipe.
8. Serve warm with generous dollops of thick Greek yogurt or sour cream, scallions and chives. Another option for serving is with unsweetened apple sauce.