By Alison Ladman
---- — Potato latkes may be the best-known variety of this crispy staple of Hanukkah meals, but don’t feel you need to limit yourself to them.
Though potatoes have their own symbolism in this Jewish holiday, it is the oil used in the frying that is particularly significant; it symbolizes the long-lasting oil burned in the temple lamps in the story of Hanukkah. And that is why there are so many latke variations, including sweet potato, onion and carrot.
Since the first day of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving this year, we decided to draw on a staple of that all-American holiday to make a delicious variation — pumpkin latkes. We top ours with a cranberry-spiked sour cream, but applesauce would be just as delicious.
PUMPKIN LATKES WITH SPICED CRANBERRY SOUR CREAM
Start to finish: 30 minutes
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup finely chopped dried cranberries
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 small sugar pumpkin, peeled, seeded and shredded (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Toasted pecans, to garnish
In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, cranberries, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
In a medium skillet over medium, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the onion and cook until very tender and well-browned, about 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the onion (reserving the skillet) to a medium bowl, and mix in the shredded pumpkin, eggs, flour, salt and black pepper.
Wipe out the skillet used to cook the onions. Return it to medium-high heat and add 1/4 inch of vegetable oil. Working in batches, scoop the pumpkin mixture by the heaping tablespoonful into the pan, 3 or 4 scoops at a time. Flatten each scoop with the back of the spatula and cook until browned on both sides and tender at the center, about 3 minutes per side.
Transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet to drain. Serve topped with the cranberry sour cream and garnished with toasted pecans.
Nutrition information per serving: 140 calories; 80 calories from fat (57 percent of total calories); 9 g fat (3.5 g saturated, 0 g trans fats); 50 mg cholesterol; 12 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 7 g sugar; 3 g protein; 220 mg sodium.