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This week marks Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday that commemorates the miracle of a day’s worth of oil used to keep Temple lights burning for eight by feasting on a variety of fried foods, most notably potato latkes. After converting to Judaism when he got married, Toloache’s Julian Medina began cooking some Mexican-inflected riffs on traditional Hanukkah dishes. This jalapeño-spiked latke is one of them, and it will be available on Toloache’s special holiday menu through December 11.

Julian Medina’s Potato-Jalapeño Latkes With Horseradish Crema
2 large russet potatoes, peeled
1 egg yolk
2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup matzo meal
Olive oil for frying

2 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish root, available at Greenmarket
1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
1 tablespoon rice- wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

(1) Using a box grater, coarsely grate the potatoes into a medium bowl. (2) Add the egg yolk, jalapeños, salt, and matzo meal. Mix well, then refrigerate for 5 minutes to allow ingredients to bind. Make horseradish crema by mixing all 4 ingredients together; refrigerate until needed. Remove potato mixture and drain off any excess liquid. Over a medium flame, heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a 10-inch skillet until hot but not smoking. (3) Place 1 heaping tablespoon of the potato mixture in the pan at a time, being careful not to crowd the latkes. Cook until golden brown on both sides, and transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of olive oil to pan as needed to complete cooking. Serve immediately with horseradish crema. Makes 16 small latkes, 4 per person.


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