Holiday Appetizer: Sweet-Potato Pancakes with Caviar

Putting finishing touches on Sweet-Potato Pancakes with Caviar
 Photo by Sue Frause

One of the appetizers Farmer Bob served at our Thanksgiving dinner for 10 was one of his favorites: Sweet-Potato Pancakes with Caviar. It's part of Bon Appetit's "The Ultimate Thanksgiving: A Course-by-Course Guide" that ran in the November 2001 edition of the popular cooking magazine. And it's been his go-to Thanksgiving cookbook ever since, along with additional recipes from Silver Palate and a cookbook he received for his November birthday: Plenty - Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi (by renowned chef and author Yotam Ottolenghi). But I digress, and here's the holiday appetizer recipe that keeps reappearing year after year. They were extra special this particular Thanksgiving, which was also Hanukkah -- we felt like we were also celebrating that holiday with our own version of latkes. 

Sweet-Potato Pancakes with Caviar
Recipe by Christine Riccin for Bon Appetit

You can form the sweet-potato pancakes up to six hours ahead, leaving only a quick frying before serving. Makes about 48.

2 pounds tan-skinned sweet potatoes (about 3 medium)

3/4 cup chopped green onions
2 large eggs
1 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

3 Tbsp (or more) vegetable oil)
1 cup sour cream
1 ounce black caviar
Fresh chives, cut into 1-inch pieces

Cook sweet potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead; keep refrigerated). 

Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel potatoes and ccoarsely grate into large bowl. Stir in green onions. Whisk eggs, flour, salt and pepper in small bowl. Gently mix into potato mixture. Form mixture into 48 walnut-size balls; transfer to prepared baking sheet. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate).

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Place 8 potato balls in skillet, pressing each gently with spatula to flatten to 1 1/2-inch diameter. Cook until panakes are rich golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining potato balls, adding more oil to skillet if necessary. Transfer pancakes to platter. Top each with 1 teaspoon sour cream and scant 1/4 teaspoon caviar. Garnish with chives. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Farmer Bob's special cooking pants (courtesy of Santa Claus)
Photo by Sue Frause


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