Every year I have the opportunity to attend a Hanukkah candle lighting and, although I’m not Jewish, I love the warm sense of community created by this light, informal and friendly ritual. Once a few songs are sung, Manischewitz and latkes are served with sour cream, which I never try, because they contain egg and dairy. As I sip Manischewitz from a little plastic cup, and watch as others consume the golden and crispy latkes, I tell myself that I will veganize the latke at home, but never have—until today.
I wanted to keep the potato pancakes here as simple as possible, but introduce some subtle flavors and components to create a balanced dish. To achieve that, I spiked the potatoes with a bit of horseradish, then made a vegan sour cream dill sauce and rounded everything out with a raw apple salad with a touch of coconut vinegar, agave and ground ginger powder. The result here was a simple yet balanced plate that was fun to make and looked really pretty on the plate.
for the pancakes
2 medium-sized russet potatoes
1 TB all-purpose flour
1 TB chickpea flour
1 tsp salt
a few dashes of fresh cracked pepper
2 TB prepared horseradish
1/2 tsp Ener-G, whisked with 2 TB cold water
for the apple salad
1 MacIntosh apple, finely diced
a few dashes of raw coconut vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1 tsp raw agave syrup
pinch of dried ground ginger
3/4 cup Tofutti sour cream
4 TB chopped fresh dill
2-3 shallots, finely sliced
Peel, then grate the potatoes on a box grater. Place the shredded potatoes into a sieve, rinse until the water runs clear, then place into a thin dishtowel or cheesecloth and squeeze them as hard as possible to remove all of the moisture. Place into a large bowl.
Place the rest of the pancake ingredients into a separate small bowl, and whisk until well combined. Pour the mixture into the potatoes, and combine well.
Combine the apples, vinegar, agave and ground ginger together and stir to combine. Place into the refrigerator to chill.
Combine the vegan sour cream and dill together into a small bowl. Set aside.
In a small pan, combine the sliced shallots with a little olive oil. Place over low heat to slowly caramelize while you prepare your pancakes.
Place a few tablespoons of oil into a large pan over medium heat. Place a golfball-sized amount into your hands, roll into a ball, then flatten as much as possible. Place into the hot oil until golden brown (about 4 minutes), then flip and brown the other side. Drain on paper towels while you finish the rest of the pancakes.
Serve immediately with the dill cream, raw apples and caramelized shallots.