How to turn latkes into a meal? Build a Mont Royal with latkes, home cured lox and horseradish cream. Photo credit: Quentin Bacon.

Latkes and lox for Hanukkah

Here are a few ideas to dress up the traditional Hanukkah latke. Combine latkes with lox and horseradish cream in the Mont Royal, an elegant variation on a simple platter of latkes that will work as an entree for a special brunch or dinner.

The Mont Royal

Hands on: 5 minutes

Total time: 5 minutes

Serves: 1

2 latkes (see recipe)

2 ounces lox (see recipe)

1 tablespoon horseradish cream (see recipe)

Finely chopped chives, for garnish

Unless latkes are freshly made, preheat oven to 450 degrees and warm prepared latkes until hot, about 5 minutes. Top with lox and garnish with horseradish cream and chives. Serve immediately.

Adapted from a recipe in “The Mile End Cookbook” by Noah and Rae Bernamoff (Clarkston Potter, $27.50).

Per serving, with potato latkes, entire recipe: 324 calories (percent of calories from fat, 47), 17 grams protein, 26 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 17 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 122 milligrams cholesterol, 575 milligrams sodium.

Potato Latkes and Variations

Hands on: 25 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Makes: 25 latkes

Entertain your guests this year with a latke bar. Make one variety of latkes or all three ahead of time and plan to reheat at 450 degrees for 5 minutes when ready to serve. Set out lox, horseradish cream, applesauce, pickled beets and maybe a whitefish salad and let guests mix and match.

2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated

1 medium onion, grated

1 1/4 cups matzo meal

3/4 cup chopped chives

5 eggs

1 tablespoon kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Canola oil, for frying

In a large bowl, cover grated potatoes with water and then drain. Repeat once or twice more until water runs clear. Drain potatoes and squeeze out as much water as possible.

In a large bowl, combine rinsed, drained potatoes with onion and stir together. Add matzo meal and stir together, then add chives. Stir in eggs, mixing until thoroughly incorporated. Mix in salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, add enough oil to come to 1/8-inch deep. Heat over medium heat. Using a 1/4-cup scoop, portion latke mixture into hot oil, slightly flattening in the skillet. Repeat until skillet is full. Do not crowd pan. Cook latkes until crisp and brown on the edges, about 3 minutes, then turn and cook until crisp and brown all over and still tender inside, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate or baking sheet and keep warm if not serving immediately. Continue with remaining potato mixture, adding more oil between batches if needed.

Variations:

Celery Root-Parsnip Latkes: Substitute 1 pound peeled and grated celery root and 1 pound grated parsnips for the potatoes, and skip the rinsing step at the beginning. Substitute 3/4 cup chopped parsley for the chives.

Butternut Squash Latkes: Substitute 2 pounds grated butternut squash for the potatoes, and skip the rinsing step at the beginning. Substitute 1/3 cup chopped fresh sage for the chives. Cook latkes slightly longer, about 4 minutes for the first side and 3 minutes for the second side, over medium-low heat.

Adapted from a recipe in “The Mile End Cookbook” by Noah and Rae Bernamoff (Clarkston Potter, $27.50).

Per potato latke: 114 calories (percent of calories from fat, 450, 3 grams protein, 12 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 6 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 42 milligrams cholesterol, 242 milligrams sodium.

Lox

Hands on: 25 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes, plus five days curing time

Makes: 1 1/2 pounds

Preparing lox at home couldn’t be simpler. Five minutes attention a day over the course of each of five days and the result is home cured salmon fresher than anything you will find at the store.

It's best to use farmed king salmon because wild salmon may be too lean for curing.

1 cup kosher salt

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup whole black peppercorns

1 bunch dill

1 2-pound boneless king salmon fillet, with skin

In a small bowl, combine the salt, sugar and peppercorns and stir to combine.

In a large glass baking dish, place 3 sprigs of dill across the bottom and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the salt mixture.

Make 3 shallow cuts in the skin of the salmon fillet. Place the salmon, skin side down, on top of the salt and dill and arrange more dill on top of the salmon. Sprinkle salmon with another 1/4 cup of the salt mixture. Reserve remaining salt mixture and dill. Loosely cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove fish from baking dish and set aside. Pour off any liquid that has accumulated. Arrange fresh dill sprigs in baking dish, add 1/4 cup salt mixture, put fillet on top, add more dill sprigs, and sprinkle with another 1/4 cup salt mixture. Cover dish and refrigerate overnight.

For the next two days, pour off any accumulated liquid and replace dill sprigs if they look wilted. Sprinkle with half the remaining salt mixture each day.

On the fifth day, remove salmon, rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Place the salmon on a small drying rack inside a clean baking dish and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.

When ready to serve, slice very thinly at a shallow angle working from the front of the fillet toward the tail.

Adapted from a recipe in “The Mile End Cookbook” by Noah and Rae Bernamoff (Clarkston Potter, $27.50).

Per 2-ounce serving: 90 calories (percent of calories from fat, 27), 15 grams protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, trace fiber, 3 grams fat (trace saturated), 39 milligrams cholesterol, 321 milligrams sodium.

Horseradish Cream

Hand on: 5 minutes

Total time: 5 minutes

Makes: 1 cup

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

3/4 cup sour cream

Juice of 1 lemon

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

Drain horseradish in a sieve to remove excess liquid.

In a small bowl, combine horseradish with sour cream, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Stir together and taste for seasoning. Cream can be made ahead and refrigerated up to 3 days.

Adapted from a recipe in “The Mile End Cookbook” by Noah and Rae Bernamoff (Clarkston Potter, $27.50).

Per 1-tablespoon serving: 41 calories (percent of calories from fat, 86), trace protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, trace fiber, 4 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 5 milligrams cholesterol, 70 milligrams sodium.

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