Latkes with a twist

January 28, 2009 8:07:17 AM PST
Hanukah begins on Sunday, and this edition of Neighborhood Eats is all about latkes with a twist, a Mexican twist.And why not add a little kick to your latkes? For this holiday treat, head to the Toloache, located at 251 West 50th Street.

It may be in the Theater District, but the tiles, artwork and chandeliers all come from Mexico. So does chef Julian Medina.

So what you'll find on his menu are tacos with unique fillings and quesadillas that get made in a brick oven and are served open face. And then there's something untraditional, latkes, inspired by the chef's wife, who is Jewish.

Chef Julian does a zucchini version. He uses only the green skin and combines that with a grated onion. To that, he adds and egg for binding and matzo meal instead of flour.

A little salt and it's into the hot oil. And once they're fried, they're drained. Julian makes two other latkes, a traditional potato version and one that's made with ricotta. It's a Mexican Hanukah.

Toloache is the name of a flowering plant used by the Aztecs for love potions. The hope is that you fall in love with the restaurant. And for some, the tequila helps.


Recipe for Zucchini Latkes

  • Yields 12


  • 5 zucchini
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 / 2 cup of matzo meal
  • 1 / 2 shaved sweet onion (Vidalia or Maui)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Olive oil for frying

    Method: 1. Coarsely grate zucchini (green part only) with a box grater into a medium-size bowl 2. Add onion, eggs, salt, and matzo meal 3. Mix well 4. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes, allowing ingredients to bind 5. Heat 1 / 2 cup of olive oil using a deep 10-inch skillet 6. Heat until hot over medium flame 7. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of mixture into pan, being careful not to add more than 6 latkes 8. Cook on both sides until golden brown (approximately 2 and a half minutes on each side) 9. Transfer latkes onto a paper towel lined plate, add salt to taste 10. Add 1 / 4 to 1 / 2 cup olive oil (if needed) to pan, repeat process with remaining mixture

    Recipe for Tomatillo Apple Salsa (optional)


  • 5 tomatillos peeled, available at farmer's markets or Latin supermarkets
  • 2 green apples
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 15 cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 Spanish onion
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • Kosher salt to taste

    Method: 1. Combine all ingredients and blend together in a food processor 2. Add salt to taste

    To Serve: Serve latkes immediately on a platter with small dollop of tomatillo apple salsa on each Garnish each with an apple slices


    STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Lauren Glassberg

    WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King