Potato, Sweet Potato and Granny Smith Latkes


Potato, Sweet Potato and Granny Smith Latkes

A Mexican immigrant cooking Thanksgiving and Hanukkah on the same night in the cold Eastern region of the United States may sound a bit odd to some. For me, it turns out to be an unexpected opportunity to bring all my pieces together. Which has my mind reeling about the just as unexpected possibilities for the menu.

See… ever since I can remember, I have felt like I am treading between worlds. The Mexican. The Jewish. The immigrant in the U.S. Not from here, not from there. Yet, as time goes by, the different parts of my identity feel increasingly solid, in all those worlds and their intersections. It turns out that where those intersections make the most sense is in the kitchen.

I admit, though, that I am a hopeless romantic. That’s why every year when my husband asks what I want for my birthday, I say: the most passionate love letter, ever. Haven’t seen it, since he has seen me everyday in one way or another for the past 17 years. So, when my birthday comes close, I offer to pack my bags and leave, just to pretend… so he can write that super duper passionate love letter.

Potato, Sweet Potato and Granny Smith Latkes with Salsa Macha and Fennel Crema
That romantic nature of mine may be why little things mean a lot to me. Remember when 12/12/12 happened? I was wild about the beauty of the 1,2,1,2,1,2 pattern and the chances of that happening again being zero. Of course, realists immediately pointed out the fact that every single day in the calendar will never, ever, be repeated again. Yet, it is the highlighted uniqueness of the 1,2,1,2,1,2 pattern that brings us the opportunity to realize just how precious that day, and any other day, is.

No surprise, then, that I am beyond ecstatic about Hanukkah and Thanksgiving happening at the same time. The chances of that happening again are so few and far in between (the next time, in 2070, it will be pretty likely that neither I nor Daniel will be here, so that is another reason for getting to that love letter) that it allows us to see these holidays under a different perspective: an enhanced sense of light, an expanded feeling of gratitude, a new vision of  what sharing at the table can mean, a new chance to continue to build bridges, and what’s best, we can eat it all along the way.

One dish that I came up with, for this once in a lifetime meal, are these Potato, Sweet Potato and Granny Smith Latkes.

Potato, Sweet Potato and Granny Smith Latkes with Salsa Macha and Fennel Crema

It is a recipe that has no fuss. It lets these three ingredients shine through and, at the same time, complement each other with the help of a bit of ancho chile  powder and true cinnamon. You can choose to eat them just like that, on their own, or you can serve them with a thick, chunky, fresh and citrusy Fennel and Lime Crema or with this rustic and nutty Salsa Macha.

Here’s a thought: you can do what I do. Eat them on their own as I am cooking them, and then eat them with both the Crema and the Salsa Macha once they are at the table.

Potato, Sweet Potato and Granny Smith Latkes

Tortitas de Papa, Camote y Manzana Verde
16 to 18 latkes
Pati Jinich
Keyword: Antojo, chile, Jewish Mexican, Potato, Recipe, Salsa, Vegetarian
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
One dish that I came up with, for this once in a lifetime meal, are these Potato, Sweet Potato and Granny Smith Latkes. It is a recipe that has no fuss. It lets these three ingredients shine through and, at the same time, complement each other with the help of a bit of ancho chile  powder and true cinnamon. You can choose to eat them just like that, on their own, or you can serve them with a thick, chunky, fresh and citrusy Fennel and Lime Crema or with this rustic and nutty Salsa Macha.


  • 1 1/2 pounds russett potatoes, about 2
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, about 1
  • 1/2 pound Granny Smith apples, about 1
  • 1/2 cup grated white onion, about 1
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 2 large eggs, well beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder , preferably, but may substitute with another dried ground chile powder that you may have handy
  • Pinch ground ceylon or true cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Fennel & Lime Crema, optional
  • Salsa Macha, optional

To Prepare

  • Wash and peel the potatoes, sweet potatoes, apple and onion and grate them, placing them as you go, into a large bowl filled halfway with ice water. After you are finished, let it all sit for a few minutes and thoroughly drain with a strainer. Wrap all the grated ingredients in cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel and wring energetically, squeezing out as much liquid as you can.
  • Transfer to a bowl and combine with eggs, ancho chile powder, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and flour. Mix well.
  • Fill a large, heavy casserole or skillet with ½ inch of oil and place over medium-high heat. After 3 to 4 minutes, test the oil by adding a teaspoon of the mix. If it bubbles happily all around the edges, it is ready. Working in small batches, to not crowd the casserole, spoon latkes of about 3 tablespoons each into the hot oil. (I use large serving spoon or my hands and shape them in flattened ovals.)
  • Cook until the first side is crisp and golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes, and flip to the other side, letting it crisp and brown as well, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Once you are finished, you may keep them warm in a 250-degree oven, or you may cover and reheat later on.

30 comments on “Potato, Sweet Potato and Granny Smith Latkes

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  1. Lo que más adoro además de tus deliciosas recetas, es tu cálido corazón, siempre se toma el tiempo de contestar. Eres un orgullo latino Patty, bendiciones y mucho éxito para ti siempre ❤❤❤

  2. Loved these but my wife and I found them a little salty, but then we are sensitive to salt since we don’t use it much.

  3. On Christmas Eve 2 years ago, I couldn’t find my sweet potato latke recipe, so searched for a new one. These are OMG good, and I am so happy loss of the old recipe led me to this one. It has already become an anticipated favorite of those who come to my Christmas Brunch. Thank you!

  4. Hi Pati. I’m such of fan of yours. I cant wait to make this! Your recipes are amazing. I also really enjoy reading all your stories to each recipe. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Querida Pati: esta receta se ve y suena deliciosa; voy a prepararla. Pero, me parece que te vi haciendo tamales dulces y no encuentro la receta…estoy equivocada? Si tines una te agradeceria si me regalas la copia. Soy Colombiana y los hecho de menos ya que llevo muchos, pero muchos anos en este pais.
    A proposito tango tus libros y me encantan.

  6. I just viewed on PBS your delicious recipe for smashed potatoes.
    I looked on your website for the details in a recipe, but no luck.
    would you let me know where I can the recipe on line on your website.

    Thanks so much. I am eager to put into my cookbook and experiment.

  7. YES – YESHUA/JESUS IS JEWISH . . 🙂 (didn’t eat pork or shellfish, though – kept Kosher as did the Apostles, who are also Jewish)

  8. Hi Pati!
    I love watching your show. I do not like hot or spicy foods. In fact I ask when I go out to dinner what the least hot spicy food is and proceed to tell them I have the sissiest taste buds in the world. I have enjoyed your recipes very much. I have made several desserts, the Flourless Almond Torte, and I did not have any Porto…I used Amaretto instead.It was so simple and delicious, I made 3 of them in one day! I made the cake you made for your husband’s Birthday. I just watched you make the red rice and prawns. I don’t like prawns but the red rice is a great idea!
    I love your enthusiasm and enjoy watching you cook. I wonder how you do not get dirty or mess up your pretty outfits when you cook? I am glad to see that you do chop and cut and prepare your own ingredients. I have a friend who lives in Texas who kept me supplied in Mexican Vanilla, until recently. Since I ran out, I decided to make my own. I made a quart of each- Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, Madagascar Rum Vanilla, and Madagascar Vodka Vanilla. It is good but I am going to ask Rose to send me some good Mexican Vanilla You are right- it is the best.
    I enjoy you, and your show very very much!Keep up the enthusiasm. It is contagious. In a good way.
    Very sincerely,
    Pat Kennedy

    1. Hola Pat, Thank you for taking the time to write me such a lovely message!! I am happy you are finding plenty of recipes that you enjoy and are not spicy — in any that do have chiles, you can always remove the stems and seeds to make them less spicy or use less. Your home made homemade vanilla sounds so interesting!!

  9. Are you in facebook or pintrest. I am hook on pintrest you should put some of your fabulious recepies there. I am joining your blog if I can. Love your recepies. Thake care Patti.:-)

  10. Wondering if I can make these without the leavening and replace the flour with Matzo meal.

    Might just have these Monday for Passover!

    Wishing you a Happy Passover!

  11. Hello again Pati;
    I think your idea of adding Apple to your Latkes is genius. I love potato Latkes and have had them both with Applesauce and Sour Cream. Putting apple in with the potato is so smart. Then I could still do the sour cream or Creama and not look like Im loading the boat…LOL Thanks so much for ALL your recipes. Looking forward to trying them all….

  12. Sorry Pati, but the next time Thanksgivvikuh will come around will be in 70,000 years! So many years more then 2070…
    On a more positive note,
    I love your latkes idea of combining two potatoes and mixing the apple in the latke instead of just adding applesauce as a topping. All your recipes and your show on PBS is the best. Everything I’ve made is sooo good. Waiting for your 3rd season..Yipee

  13. I made, or attempted, to make these tonight as a pre-holiday run through. Did you measure the ingredients you specified?

    I used the exact amounts, weighed, you called for of potatoes, sweet potatoes, apple, and onion. I substituted chipotle chile powder for ancho, but otherwise followed your recipe exactly. The potato mixture was MUCH too dry with that amount of batter to begin to hold together. I mixed a second 1/4 cup flour with two MORE eggs, and still didn’t really hold together (though it tasted delicious).

    I put the rest of the mix on a quarter sheet pan, lined with foil and sprayed with coconut oil to “pan fry” in the oven at 400. Planning to flip that and cut into squares so they are a sort of rosti/latkes. I’m a very experienced cook and have been making latkes since childhood (I’m 60). Great idea, but the recipe as written needs to be adjusted.

    1. Hi Jeff,
      Sorry to hear this but happy to hear you liked the taste! These measurements worked great for me. However, that is how I am used to eating my latkes, with barely enough egg and flour, so that the latkes are really crispy, almost airy and less like patties.

  14. pati, the latkes sound wonderful; and I will make them, for sure. and HAPPY HANUKKAH. I hope you get that letter! your writing is very touching, and so universally true. loving your cookbook!