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Appetizers, Sides, Vegetarian

Beet-potato latkes with horseradish-caraway creme fraiche

Beet-potato latkes with horseradish-caraway creme fraiche
Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

You hear Eric Greenspan before you see him, whether he's running the floor at his year-old Melrose Avenue restaurant, the Foundry, or now, cooking for Hanukkah with his mother at her place on a tree-lined street in Woodland Hills. Mother ... Read more

Total time: 2 hours, 10 minutes, plus chilling time | Serves 4

Horseradish-caraway creme fraiche

  • 2 tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 1 cup creme fraiche
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated horseradish
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Step 1Place the caraway seeds in a small saute pan and cook over medium heat, shaking occasionally, until they become aromatic and begin to pop, 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 2In a medium bowl, combine the creme fraiche with the toasted seeds and the horseradish. Season with one-half teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper, or to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days. Serve cool.

Carrot puree

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely diced
  • 2 cups fresh carrot juice
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Step 1Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the diced carrot and cook for 2 minutes, until the color is vibrant. Add the carrot juice and bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to maintain a good simmer. Cook until the liquid has been reduced by a little more than half, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 2Remove the mixture from the heat, cool for several minutes, and puree in a blender or with an immersion blender. Season with three-fourths teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper, or to taste. Cover and refrigerate for up to a week. Serve at room temperature.

Latkes and assembly

  • 1 large red beet
  • 3 Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 medium red onions
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 cups canola oil, divided
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 recipe horseradish-caraway creme fraiche
  • 1 recipe carrot puree

Step 1Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Trim the beet, wash it and wrap it in foil. Roast it in the oven for 1 hour, until a knife easily pierces through the flesh. Cool before handling; remove the skin.

Step 2Peel the potatoes, onions and carrot. Using a box grater, grate the potatoes, carrot and beet separately, squeezing the moisture out of each vegetable using a colander or paper towels, then combine the vegetables in a large bowl. Grate the onion, squeezing the moisture from half and adding it to a large bowl with the other vegetables. Reserve the remaining grated onion.

Step 3Heat a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil and the reserved grated onion. Saute the onion, stirring occasionally, until soft and caramelized, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and add to the bowl of grated vegetables, tossing to combine.

Step 4Stir in the eggs and flour, and season with one-half teaspoon salt and one-fourth teaspoon pepper.

Step 5Heat the remaining oil in a medium skillet until it shimmers. Drop the latke batter (beginning with a single "tester latke"), a quarter cup at a time, flattening slightly with a heat-proof spatula to form a pancake. Fry the latkes, 1 or 2 at a time, for about 2 minutes until they're a golden color on one side, then flip and cook 1 to 2 minutes on the other side. Remove the cooked latkes to drain on a paper towel-lined tray, sprinkling each with a good pinch of kosher salt, and continue with the remaining batter; you should have about 14 to 16 latkes.

Step 6Serve immediately with the horseradish-caraway creme fraiche and the carrot puree.

Note: Adapted from Eric Greenspan. Make the creme fraiche and the carrot puree up to two days ahead.

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