Now, I'd never tell you Hanukkah is the only time you can eat latkes, but it's certainly an excellent excuse to devour a large pile of the things. And since Hanukkah is well underway, the time for latkes is at hand.
Since I can never leave well enough alone with any recipe that crosses my path, I've made a few changes to the standard latkes I discovered in Joan Zoloth's JEWISH HOLIDAY TRADITIONS. To begin with, I replaced the white onions with green; a simple enough change, and a logical one given my eternal hatred for white onions. The green onion latkes were a success, praised by all comers.
I made them several times before that fateful night when I asked myself whether I could combine my constant craving for latkes with my deep love of sausages.
I cooked up some chicken sausages, gave 'em a chop, and mixed them into my latke batter.
Best. Idea. EVER.
I highly recommend you give it a go. The recipe below makes enough latkes for three fairly hungry people, two of whom have smaller appetites, or for four people whose hunger is only regular-strength. If you add side dishes, the latkes stretch even further--but really, who wants to muck around with a vegetable when there are sausage latkes on offer?
2-3 large or 5 small green onions, diced
3 medium-sized russet potatoes, peeled
6 of your favourite breakfast sausages (preferably not pork; it's Hanukkah, dude)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 tsp salt
2-3 grinds of pepper
between 1/2 and 1 cup of vegetable oil (for frying)
Instructions:Fry up your sausages before you get down to the rest of it. You can do this far in advance if you'd like, and you needn't worry if the sausages are still a little pink in the middle. They'll finish cooking once you plop them into the hot oil.
Once your sausages look nice and browned, remove them from the pan and chop them into tiny pieces.
Grate your peeled potatoes into a large bowl. You might not need all three; just eyeball it and quit when you've got a goodly amount of potato in there. (Precision is key when one practices the culinary arts.)
Add your sliced green onions, chopped sausages, eggs, flour, and seasonings. Stir until the batter is well combined.
Heat a little more than 1/3 cup of the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Drop heaping tablespoons of the potato mixture into the oil and flatten 'em with the back of the spoon. Flip them once or twice so they're crisp and brown (but not burned) on both sides, then drain them on a plate with a paper towel spread atop it.
Once the first batch is ready, take them out to the table and let your dining companions get down to it. Repeat as necessary until all the batter is gone. Make sure to add a little more oil to the pan at regular intervals so it doesn't go dry.
My family enjoys sausage latkes with sour cream and apple sauce, separately or together. Personally, I love them best when spread with a bit of butter while they're still very hot.