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Posted on Tue, Dec 20, 2011 : 8 a.m.

Reuben latkes is a non-traditional version of classic Chanukkah dish

By Mary Bilyeu


Mary Bilyeu, Contributor

Chanukkah, one of my very favorite holidays, begins at sundown tonight. It brings beautiful candlelight from the menorah, as well as permission to eat fried foods without (too much) guilt!

During the eight days of Chanukkah, Jews celebrate "the miracle of the oil," when a mere one day's worth of consecrated oil burned for eight days as the Temple in Jerusalem was rededicated in 165 B.C. In modern times, this has been turned into a tradition of eating latkes [LAHT-kuhs] — fried potato pancakes — and sufganiyot [soof-GAHN-yoht], which are similar to jelly doughnuts.

Now, don't get me wrong — I am not in any way averse to either fried potatoes or fried dough! But I kinda like to honor the traditions while tweaking them a bit.

So instead of making potato pancakes, I deconstructed Jeremy's favorite sandwich — the Reuben — and turned it into a little crispy fried patty of its own.

The familiar flavors shine through, and then they're even enhanced by the caramelization that comes from being fried until golden brown. You could also add a bit of shredded Swiss cheese to the batter; but that wouldn't be kosher (meat and dairy products can't be combined, according to the Jewish dietary laws). Although I don't keep kosher myself, I do try to respect that many of the people celebrating Chanukkah tonight do.

The Reuben latkes are also great for people — like Jeremy and my fabulous blogging buddy Michele — who follow a low-carb diet; there are only about 4 carbs per latke, as opposed to the gazillion that you'll find in the traditional potato variety.

Happy Chanukkah! Enjoy some fried foods over the next eight days, and don't make excuses — just celebrate right along with me!

Reuben Latkes

12 Triscuit crackers - Rye with Caraway Seeds
2 cups sauerkraut
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
4 ounces sliced deli corned beef, chopped
2 large eggs
3/4 cup oil
Thousand Island dressing, for serving

Crush the crackers into fine crumbs and place into a large bowl. Squeeze the sauerkraut to drain it thoroughly, then add it to the mixing bowl with the cracker crumbs. Stir in the onion, the corned beef, and the eggs; combine well.

Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls into the oil, making 4 latkes at a time. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side until browned, then remove from skillet to drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining oil and batter.

Makes 12 latkes. Serve hot, with Thousand Island dressing.

And don't forget to check out some other latke recipes for your Chanukkah celebration:

Curried Latkes with Peas

Jambalaya Latkes

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Mary Bilyeu has won or placed in more than 60 cooking contests and writes about her adventures in the kitchen. She was thrilled to have her post about Scottish Oatmeal Shortbread named as one of the daily "Best of the Blogs" by the prestigious Food News Journal.

Go visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — on which she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related. Feel free to email her with questions or comments or suggestions:

The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers as they cook along with her ... may you always be happy here.



Tue, Dec 20, 2011 : 3:49 p.m.

Sounds fun, Mary, as Reuben is such a classic. But for a once a year treat, we are staying with potatoes. Happy Chanukah anyway you fry it.