Bite-Size Potato Latkes with Smoked Salmon and Creme Fraiche


Traditionally served at Hanukkah, a latke (LAHT-kuh) is a pancake made from grated potatoes, onions and seasonings. Normally served warm with applesauce and sour cream, here they are "dressed up" for a holiday party adorned with beautiful smoked salmon rosettes and herb flecked crème fraiche. Chag Sameach [KHAHG ah-MEHY-ahkh] - that’s Yiddish for Happy Holidays!

Crème Fraiche and Salmon

  • 1 cup crème fraiche
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives, plus additional for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon (or lox)
Combine crème fraiche, chives and lemon juice in a small bowl; stir to mix thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and refrigerate until needed.

Cut salmon slices into strips approximately 3-inches in length and 1-inch wide. Roll each strip into a rosette. (Note: You will need 24 rosettes.) Place on a plate, cover gently with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Latkes

  • 2 medium russet or Idaho potatoes (8 to 10 ounces each)
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, peeled
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Matzo meal (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
Wash and peel potatoes. Line a large bowl with cheesecloth that has been folded double. Coarsely grate potatoes and onion into the cloth. Add lemon juice, and toss to mix. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth together, and squeeze out as much moisture as possible.

Place potatoes and onions in a clean mixing bowl; add egg, Matzo meal (or flour), salt and pepper, and toss to mix evenly and thoroughly.

Place a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and heat through. Scoop potato mixture by the tablespoonful; press it gently to form a small pancake, then slip it into the heated oil. Cook until the underside of each is golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn pancakes, and cook until the other side is golden brown and the potatoes are cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Transfer latkes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain briefly.*

Top each with a dollop of the crème fraiche mixture, a smoked salmon rosette, and a couple of chive sprigs. Attractively arrange on small plates (or a serving platter), and serve immediately.

Tips and Techniques
Latkes may be placed on a paper towel-lined cooling rack set over a baking sheet and held in a 200 degree F oven to keep warm for up to 2 hours. Do not garnish latkes with crème fraiche and sour cream until ready to serve.

Variation: Substitute dill for the chives.

Makes 24 canapés

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