Plantain Latkes with Avocado Crema

By Samantha Ferraro, The Nosher
Every year I create a new latke recipe for the Chanukah season. Potatoes are so last year, but roots and vegetables are trending now.

Plantain chips are among my favorite treats; put a bag in front of me and it’s over. I blame my East Coast childhood for my addiction to Latin flavors. Sweet and salty plantains, deep flavors of paprika and sazon, and rice and beans are all my jam.

So with my deep love affair with Latin cuisine, I took this idea as inspiration for this year’s latke creation.

RoundNosher-300x291Plantains fry up beautifully, as most may know from eating crispy plantain chips or tostones.

To add a bit of depth, smoky chipotle and paprika are added to the shredded batter and as a complement to the savory latkes, a creamy avocado crema to dip the latkes in. Is there anything better?

A few cooking tips: The plantain mix will be a bit sticky, so when frying the latkes, oil the back of your spoon or spatula to gently press the latkes down so they don’t stick too much.

The thinner the latkes, the crispier they will be, and crispy plantains are exactly what you want.

For the plantain latkes:

2 green plantains
¼ of a large yellow onion (or ½ small yellow onion)
2 garlic cloves, grated
½ tsp. paprika
½ tsp. smoked chipotle
1 whole egg, whisked
¼ cup matzah meal
Salt and pepper, to taste
Canola or grapeseed oil, for frying


For the avocado crema:

1 ripe avocado
¼ cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt is a good substitute)
1 lime, juiced
Small bunch of fresh cilantro leaves (about ½ cup)
Small bunch of fresh parsley leaves (about ½ cup)
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. water (for consistency)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Prep your ingredients. Use a paring knife to peel the tough skin on the plantain and chop into smaller pieces, but large enough to fit through the feed of a food processor (or you can use a hand grater if you prefer).

Using a food processor with the small shredding blade, shred the plantains and the onion. Then add the mixture to a bowl and grate two garlic cloves, add the egg, matzah meal and spices, and mix everything together well.

Next, heat a large frying pan with enough canola oil to coat the bottom and allow to come up to about 360 degrees, or you can test it with a small piece of batter and if it sizzles, it’s ready.

Then spoon a tablespoon-sized amount of latke mixture into the pan, and slowly add it to the hot oil. Lightly grease the back of your spoon and gently press down on the latke so it fries up evenly. I add about three to four latkes to a large skillet.

Fry on first side until golden brown and crispy, about three to four minutes, then use a spatula to carefully flip over and continue cooking for another two to three minutes until crispy.

Once done, remove to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt as soon as they are done frying.

To make the avocado crema, add the avocado, sour cream, lime juice, herbs and spices to a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth. Add a bit of water to make it a creamier consistency.

When everything is done, serve the latkes with avocado crema and garnish with additional cilantro.

Samantha Ferraro is the food blogger and photographer for The Little Ferraro Kitchen. Samantha is originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., and now lives in Hawaii.

To read the complete December 2017 Dayton Jewish Observer, click here.

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