While they are not the classic Ashkenazic latkes, these potato croquettes would be ideal at the Hanukkah table. They are also called bimuelos de patata in the Balkans, keftikes de patata in Greece, or fritas de patata kon kezo in Ladino, and they are affectionately known as patates toplar by the Sephardim in Turkey. Although the word toplar means “cannonball, ” they are not heavy, just round. Turkish Jews dip them in broken noodles rather than bread crumbs. While these are delicious seasoned with just parsley and cheese, the green onion and garlic add a deeper flavor note, the mint contributes brightness, and the pine nuts deliver texture.
Place the potatoes in a saucepan with lightly salted water to cover generously. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain well and, while still warm, pass them through a potato ricer placed over a bowl or mash them. Add the egg yolks, parsley, cheese, and the mint, green onion, garlic, and pine nuts, if using. Stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Form into
Pour the oil to a depth of
When oil is hot, add the croquettes, in batches, and deep-fry until golden, about 5 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain, then keep warm in the oven preheated to 250 degrees F until all the croquettes are fried. Serve hot.
© 2000 Joyce Goldstein. All rights reserved.