For the Hanukkah Snacking episode of Cherie (of We Can Tour That fame) and my short-lived Twitch food channel, I decided to make a twist on the classic Reuben sandwich replacing the grilled rye with potato latkes. The size of the latkes makes this a slightly large slider perfect for any occasion – not just Hanukkah.
I chose to use panko because that is what I had in the pantry. Matzo meal is traditional, but you could also use fine breadcrumbs, flour, or potato starch as a binder. The panko adds a nice crunch to the finished product.
For the sliders, we made our own 1000 Island Dressing and latke but chose to shop at two NYC institutions for the rest of the ingredients. The corned beef was from the legendary Katz’s Delicatessen. For the sauerkraut and half-sour pickles, we went the Lower East Side old school route with The Pickle Guys.
This was actually quite an easy dish to make. I had concerns about the latkes being mushy or not frying up properly. (It was the first time I made them at home.) The real key is to squeeze every last drop of moisture out of the potato-onion mixture. Then, when frying, do not crowd the skillet and allow the oil to come back up to heat between each batch. I also discovered putting the paper towel on top of the wire cooling rack – not under it – helps to absorb the additional grease.
This turned out brilliant. Quite filling even for the smallish size. If the latke prep and cooking were quicker, I’d likely do these more often. I recently discovered cauliflower fritters (yeah – basically cauliflower latkes) so that maybe my future iteration of this. Honestly, any flat vegetable fritter will serve as a great base for this recipe.
LATKE REUBEN SLIDERS
Panko potato latkes, corned beef, sauerkraut, 1000 Island Dressing
Makes 3 sliders
Panko Potato Latkes
1 pound Russet potatoes
1/2 medium sweet onion
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
For the sliders
8 ounces thinly sliced corned beef
1/4 cup sauerkraut
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
Thousand Island Dressing (see recipe below)
Sliced pickles for garnish
Peel potatoes and grate. Place in a bowl lined with a towel & cover with the towel. Grate the onion. Place in the towel with potatoes and gently mix. Wrap the potato and onions up in the cloth, twisting the cloth to secure the bundle, and squeeze firmly to remove excess liquid from the shreds. When liquid stops flowing, open towel, fluff mixture, wrap again, and give a final squeeze.
Pour oil into a skillet to a depth of 1/8 inch. Heat slowly over medium to about 340° degrees F.
Pour potato and onion into the clean, dry bowl. Stir the panko breadcrumbs, beaten eggs, salt, and pepper into the potato mixture. Take care to make sure the egg and seasonings are fully mixed throughout the potato shreds.
Scoop up 3 tablespoons of the potato mixture. I do this by using a 1/4 cup measuring cup and filling it 3/4 of the way full. Shape the potato mixture into a tightly compacted ball.
Place the ball carefully into the hot oil. Smash them into disks with a dry spatula. The oil should sizzle but not pop when the latke hits it; if the oil jumps wildly or smokes, it is too hot. If it only bubbles weakly, the oil is not hot enough. Use the first latke to test the oil temperature, and don’t fry a whole batch until the temperature is right.
Continue frying the latkes in this way, using 3 tablespoons of potato mixture for each latke. Fry in batches of 4-5 latkes at a time (no more than that– don’t crowd the pan) for 2-3 minutes per side till brown and crispy.
Transfer finished latkes to a wire rack lined with a paper towel in a sheet pan.
Take two latkes. Smear 1000 Island on top of each latke. Top one with a couple of slices of corned beef, sauerkraut, and a sprinkling of cheese. Top the other with an extra bit of cheese. Place under broiler to melt the cheese. Top the corned beef latke with the cheese only to make a slider. Serve with a half-sour pickle split in half.
1000 Island Dressing
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 half-sour pickle, minced fine
1/2 tablespoon whole grain mustard
Mix all ingredients in a bowl.