Chosen Bites: Thanksgivukkah, it only happens once

Combine the deliciousness of baked sweet potatoes with marshmallows and the crispiness of a latke to celebrate Hanukkah and Thanksgiving falling on the same day.

Sweet Potato Fritters with Brulled Marshmallows (photo credit: Laura Frankel)
Sweet Potato Fritters with Brulled Marshmallows
(photo credit: Laura Frankel)
What if you could combine the deliciousness of baked sweet potatoes with marshmallows and the crispiness of a latke? All hail Thanksgivukkah and the hybrid dishes that emerge from such a confluence of two holidays falling on the same day. I love latkes. Crispy and slightly greasy right out of the fat, all sizzling and crusty with a soft creamy center.
But I also love creamy sweet potatoes topped with decadent marshmallows and lightly browned. What can I say; even chefs like to enjoy a holiday treat. On Thanksgivukkah you can enjoy both. By prebaking the sweet potatoes you will have a crispy crust and a creamy center. (Sweet potato latkes have a tendency to burn due to the high sugar content of sweet potatoes and the length of time needed to cook them.) You can use purchased marshmallows or make your own.
Yields about 30 small fritters
2 large sweet potatoes (about 2 pound) 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided 1 medium onion, chopped 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 ½ cups cup fine yellow cornmeal 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1/4 cup water
1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
2. Prick sweet potatoes in several places with a fork and place in a baking dish and bake at 425ºF until tender (about 1 hour.) Set aside to cool.
3. Whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
4. Peel the sweet potato and mash in a large bowl with a fork add the eggs and water. Add the cornmeal mixture and stir until just combined.
5. Form the sweet potato mixture into about 16 small cakes, about 1/4 cup for each.
6. Heat a large sauté pan, with a ½ inch of oil over medium high heat. Cook 4 fritters until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining fritters.
7. Before serving, pile the marshmallows on top of each fritter and bake the fritters until puffed and firm to the touch and the marshmallows have browned about 8 to 10 minutes.
Yes, this recipe is a potschke, but it is rewarding to see this mountain of fluff turn into bouncy delicious delights. The marshmallows will keep for 3-5 days if tightly covered and if there are any left.
About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar 2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin 1 cup cold water, divided 2 cups granulated sugar 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 1/2 cup light corn syrup 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 large egg whites 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1. Oil bottom and sides of a 33- by 22- by 5-cm. rectangle metal baking pan and dust bottom and sides with some confectioners’ sugar.
2. In bowl of a standing electric mixer or in a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water, and let stand to soften.
3. In a large heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, spices, corn syrup, second 1/2 cup of cold water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 115 C, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.
4. With standing or a hand-held electric mixer beat mixture on high speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about six minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer. 5. In separate medium bowl with cleaned beaters beat egg whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites and vanilla into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan and sift 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar evenly over top. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least three hours, and up to one day.
6. Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lifting up one corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and ease onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly one-inch cubes. Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar back into your now-empty baking pan, and roll the marshmallows through it, on all six sides, before shaking off the excess and packing them away.Chef Laura Frankel is Executive Chef for Spertus Kosher Catering and author of Jewish Cooking for All Seasons, and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes.