Sweet potato panquettes

They’re not pancakes, and they’re not quite croquettes. So “panquettes” it is.

They were born of an overwhelming need to make something quickly and without the need of a cutting board. No knife brandishing is going to happen at 9:45 p.m. with tummies growling for dinner and homework waiting to be conquered. And besides, there was cooked sweet potato that needed to find its way out of my fridge and rice bread that was proving a very bad experiment indeed and also needed to be expunged.

So here’s how to make ’em, if you happen to be in the same jam as I was or just want a sweet but substantial latke-like meal. (Jump the jump for the recipe…)

Sweet potato panquettes

1/2 c. walnuts

1 c. cooked sweet potato, mashed

1/4 c. dried currants or raisins

1 slice bread (rice or otherwise), crumbled, or a handful of breadcrumbs

1 egg

1 Tbs. melted butter or canola or corn oil

salt to taste

Oil for frying

Apple sauce and/or sour cream

Put walnuts in oven to toast at 400 F or so (or under a broiler but not too close). Combine sweet potato, currants or raisins, crumbled bread or breadcrumbs, butter or oil, and a few pinches salt. Mix thoroughly, making sure the egg gets beaten into the mixture. Remove walnuts from the oven, let cool until you can comfortably handle them, and crumble them into the mixture. Alternatively, you can put them on a cutting board and crush them with the butt of a knife or a mallet. (That gives you more to wash at the end, but can be mightily satisfying). Fold in the walnuts

Heat about 1/4″ of oil in a skillet or cast iron pan. When a bit of panquette batter sizzles in the oil, it’s ready to fry up your babies. Drop batter by heaping tablespoonful into the oil and flatten. Fry for a minute or two on each side, adjusting the heat to keep the temperature of the pan at med-high. Remove panquettes to a plate covered in paper towel.

Serve immediately with apple sauce and/or sour cream.

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