This recipe is inspired by the crunchiness of patacones, a snack that I was introduced to during grad school in Costa Rica and widely enjoyed across Central and Latin America. For the latke mix, I am a strong advocate for using a box grater over a food processor (the sooner you learn that the secret ingredient to any latke is knuckle skin, the better). Serve with a healthy dollop of refried black beans, and drizzle some Cholula chipotle hot sauce on top to bring it all together. —Joe Baur
or about 1 large russet potato or sweet potato, peeled and coarsely grated
white onion (4 ounces or ¼ a cup), coarsely grated
green-skinned plantains, peeled and coarsely grated
kosher salt, plus more as needed to wring out vegetables and top hot patacones
Neutral oil, for frying
Refried beans and hot sauce, or applesauce and sour cream, for serving
In This Recipe
In a medium bowl, mix together the grated potatoes, onion, and plantains. Add a bit of salt and let sit for a couple minutes. Transfer the mixture to a cheesecloth or dish towel and wring out as much liquid as possible.
Move the mixture to a large bowl and add the eggs, matzo meal, salt, and mix with your hands.
In a medium skillet, pour enough oil into a pan to come 1/4-inch or 0.6cm up the sides. Heat over medium until 350°F or 180°C. Once it’s hot, scoop up a quarter cup’s worth of the mixture with your hands and pack it together tightly, until a thin disc forms. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to lower the disc into the oil, flatten it with the spatula, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes; flip and repeat the process on the other side, until the latkes are golden brown and crispy. Repeat this with the rest of the latkes, being sure to cook them one by one and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain 350°F.
Transfer cooked latke-patacones to a wire rack or plate covered with paper towels to remove excess oil. Hit them with some salt while they’re still hot.
Serve with refried black beans and a drizzle of your favorite hot sauce, or with applesauce and sour cream.