HAPPY HANUKKAH! It’s the third night of the holiday, which, for me, is serving as a pretty horrifying reminder of the power of fried food smells to linger in apartments well beyond the actual frying action. Case in point: I made the latkes pictured above on Friday afternoon, a day-and-then-some before the holiday actually began, and my entire home still reeks of oil and onions and burnt potato skins.
But honestly, that nostalgia-inducing, days-old latke smell is totally welcome to stick around my humble abode as long as it pleases. ‘Cause latkes are the best.
As kids, my siblings and I always ate them with applesauce, and I have to admit I still think that savory-sweet pairing still reigns as the ultimate flavor combination. This year, though, I tried my hand at a more grown-up variation, dressing them up with a bit of smoked salmon, some creme fraiche, and — ooh la la! — a smattering of edible flowers. I know. So fancy. I don’t really have anything to say for myself except that Eataly had the colorful flowers in stock and they were calling my name.
If you, too, are feeling sophisticated and in need of a change from your regularly scheduled latke topping, go ahead and try making these beauties yourself. The good news is that the edible flowers are so gorgeous that they do most of the work for you. Meanwhile, the actual making-the-latkes part is super easy and quick and painless. I promise.
Potato Latkes with Smoked Salmon, Creme Fraiche, and Edible Flowers
MAKES AROUND 20 SMALL LATKES
- 4 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled
- 1 scallion, diced (just the green part!)
- 4 medium Idaho potatoes
- Corn or peanut oil, for frying
- Smoked salmon, to garnish
- Creme fraiche, to garnish
- Edible flowers, to garnish
- Chopped chives, to garnish
What you’ll do:
- Line a baking sheet with paper towels, set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, flour, salt, and pepper.
- Using a hand grater, grate the onion coarsely and add to the egg mixture (I grated it directly over the bowl). Next, grate the potatoes, leaving the skins on, and add. Finally, add the scallion and stir to combine.
- Fill a large skillet with about a quarter inch of oil and let sit on medium-high heat for about 4 minutes or until the oil is very hot. Spoon a tablespoon of the potato mixture into the oil and cook for about 3 minutes on each side (using a spatula to flip!) until thoroughly browned.
- Working in batches, transfer the latkes to the paper-towel-lined pan and continue frying until you run out of “batter.” Top each latke with a small piece of smoked salmon, a dollop of creme fraiche, chopped chives, and one edible flower. Serve warm.