Specially made for Hanukkah, latkes are potato pancakes that are fried in oil in recognition of the ancient lamps that held only enough oil for one day but miraculously burned for eight. Adding parsnips also celebrates the past, when latkes were made with vegetables, cheeses, or fruits.
- 1 yellow onion, grated on the large holes of a box grater or minced
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 pounds parsnips (about 5 medium), peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
- 1/2 pound russet potato (about 1 medium), peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
In a large bowl, combine onion, orange zest, salt, cayenne, and black pepper. Add eggs, and stir until incorporated. Stir in flour until incorporated. Add parsnips and potato, and toss until combined and evenly coated.
Fill a large skillet with about 1/2 inch oil. Place over medium heat until oil is almost smoking. (To test, drop a small bit of batter into the skillet; it should sizzle upon contact.)
Working in batches so as not to crowd skillet, carefully spoon about 2 tablespoons batter into oil for each latke. Lightly tamp down to flatten. Cook, turning once, until golden on each side, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spatula, transfer to a paper-towel-lined wire rack to drain. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately with sour cream and applesauce.