A great untraditional potato latkes recipe with green chiles and cheese is perfect for lovers of Mexican food. A fun new potato pancake!
I can’t think of anything that I love more than fried potatoes.
Give me French fries or hash browns or smashed potatoes…I love them all.
But in December fried potatoes, to me, morphs into latkes.
This year I’ve already made traditional latkes which are basically shredded potatoes, eggs and onions, with a little flour or matzo meal thrown in.
So good and I don’t know what’s holding you back, if you are a potato lover.
Now latkes with green chilies and cheese is so not traditional, but it’s always fun to come up with new ideas for a very old tradition.
Latkes, along with donuts, are a very traditional food made during Hanukkah.
Fried in oil is the key here, as this holiday uses a lot of oil. I don’t know about you but latkes are something I look forward to all year long.
Why I don’t make them more often, I don’t know…but we always say the same thing about charoset! (Look it up!)
With green chilies in the freezer and our love of Mexican flavors, it was just a matter of time before I figured out that latkes with green chiles are so savory and addicting.
Traditional Toppings for latkes usually include applesauce and sour cream.
In our house we always loved raspberry jam on top of latkes and sometimes we’d even sprinkle on a little bit of sugar.
It may sound strange, but the combo of sweet and salty really does work! Many add smoked salmon along with the sour cream, too.
Let’s face it…a latke is a great base for many foods. However it is also great on its own.
In the case of these latkes with green chiles and cheese, I added some Cheddar cheese to the potatoes and found pleasantly enough that the cheese does not melt into the oil.
It stays within the latke which is a good thing. If you’d like you can even sprinkle on some extra cheese and run the latke under the broiler for a good cheesy mess!
Sour cream mixed with lime juice and green chiles makes a perfect topping to these latkes.
Similar to Mexican crema, this little dollop of goodness was just enough to highlight the favor of the latke.
If you choose to run the latke under the broiler be sure to add your sour cream after the fact!
Six Tips For Making this Potato Latkes Recipe:
It helps to have a food processor since the potatoes need to be grated. In my case I like the combo of combining shredded potatoes with potatoes turned into mush with the steel blade. I usually do half shredded, half mush. Many like all mush or pureed, and you may think I am strange when I call potatoes mush, but once you do this in your processor you will see what I mean! The latkes with some shredded potatoes fry better and the added texture is good too. However this is personal preference and most just use the steel blade and grind them into mush.
Grind your potatoes with the onions. This keeps the potatoes from discoloring.
To keep your latkes extra crisp you must get out as much of the liquid as possible from the shredded potatoes. There are two ways to do this and a lot depends on how many people you are making these for. The first way, which I use when only making a small amount of latkes (like this recipe),requires a fine mesh strainer. Place the shredded potatoes into the strainer and press the liquid through into a large bowl. Stir well with your hands and keep pressing until the mixture feels almost dry. Method two involves taking all the potatoes and placing them into a large cloth (not terrycloth) dish towel and wringing the dish towel until all the liquid is out. Do this over a large bowl, too.
Why the large bowl? Well, by now you have collected a lot of liquid and I want you to pour it out into the sink. What’s left at the bottom of the bowl is potato starch! Amazing, huh? This will help keep your latkes together, so you don’t want to throw it out.
The best way to reheat latkes? After they are fried and drained of oil, place them on a rack on a big baking sheet. Before reheating make sure they are at room temperature. Place them in a single layer. When ready to reheat, put them in a 35o degree oven for about 10 minutes. They will become more golden, so if you plan to reheat them, you may want to underfry them.
We usually say that the first latke is for the cook. Reason being is because the first latke helps determine if the mixture is right. Too much liquid and the latkes fall apart. Little liquid and they may become too dense. Sometimes a touch more flour or matzo meal is needed or if the potatoes are too dry, another egg. If the oil’s too hot, they fry too fast and then the inside isn’t done and they tend to fall apart. So much to think about and that is what the first latke will tell you. I often have to adjust the heat to keep the oil from getting too hot or too cold. With a small batch it’s not too much to worry about, but when frying a lot of latkes you will find that the oil collects with shreds of potatoes or onions. These should be scooped out, because they will burn.
Now it’s time to try your hand at these latkes with a crisp and golden exterior and a moist soft interior.
You may even want to top these with a fried egg.
If you choose not to add green chilies and cheese you are still left with the most perfect traditional latke and nothing can beat that!
What to serve with latkes?
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Latkes with green chiles and cheese may not be traditional, but they sure are good!
1 1/2 lbs Idaho Russet Potatoes peeled (about 3 medium sized)
1/2 of a medium sized onion
2 garlic cloves
2 4 oz cans of well drained green chiles (I used fresh roasted chiles thawed from my freezer and chopped them myself. If you have this option, it is preferable.)
1 1/2 c Sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 c matzo meal or panko crumbs or flour
1 t coarse salt
Olive oil, or canola oil to fry
Sour Cream Topping
1/2 c sour cream
1 T chopped green chile
1 chopped scallion
Pinch of salt
Juice of 1/2 of lime
Using a food processor, place your peeled potatoes, onion and garlic through the shredding blade or the steel blade or do half and half. Place them into a dishtowel or into the fine meshed strainer.
Wring out liquid according to tips above.
Pour out liquid and then pour potato mixture into bowl that hold the leftover potato starch. Add eggs, chiles and cheese. Mix well.
Stir in matzo meal,panko crumbs or flour. Add salt and mix well.
Heat about 1/2″ of oil in a large skillet. (I use a cast iron.) Heat over medium high heat until a wooden chopstick’s tip inserted into the oil starts to send out little bubbles. This means your oil is hot enough.
Using about 1/3 c of potato mixture carefully spoon your potatoes into the skillet. Once the bottom has set for a few seconds flatten your pancake gently. You don’t want it to break apart nor do you want these too thick or too thin. Fry until the bottom is golden. Then using two metal spatulas with the one in your left hand turned upside down, flip the latke with your right hand holding the spatula onto the upside down spatula and gently let it plop back down into the oil. Fry until golden. Each pancake usually takes 3-4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and blot well. Do not crowd pan. I only fry 4 latkes at a time in a 12″ skillet.
Keep warm on a rack placed in a baking sheet in a 250 degree oven. Reheating directions as seen above are different. Continue Frying.
Make sour cream sauce by combining all ingredients and mixing well.
Keywords: latkes, potato pancakes, Jewish food, Hanukkah food, latkes with green chiles and cheese, potato latkes recipe