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Latkes

Growing up, I spent a lot of time at my friend Ishah's house, often celebrating Jewish holidays with her family. When Hanukkah comes around, so does the craving for latkes. But, when I think of latkes, I think of bloody knuckles from grating massive quantities of potatoes,stinging, teary eyes from the onions and the latkes getting cold as you fry the 10th batch of 4 latkes. It was certainly a labor of love, so it was no wonder that we only made them once a year


This Hanukkah came and went and I didn't manage to eat any latkes, so I decided I would try my hand at making them for breakfast this morning. A quick search on Epicurious.com garnered me this recipe:


 

G's notes:

  • squeezing all the water out of the potatoes is important for a crisp pancake

  • I used vegetable oil instead of olive oil.

  • I add a heaping tablespoon of flour to help with the binding.

Potato latkes, Gourmet December 2000


What is the secret to making great latkes? We found that the starchier the potato, the crisper the latke. As for varieties, we tested baking potatoes (the starchiest), Yukon Golds, and boiling potatoes (the least starchy) and liked the flavor of them all. You can easily double this recipe for a crowd.

Active time: 45 min Start to finish: 45 min

Makes 12 to 16 latkes.

 ingredients

1 lb potatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil

Accompaniments: sour cream and applesauce

 preparation

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Peel potatoes and coarsely grate by hand, transferring to a large bowlof cold water as grated. Soak potatoes 1 to 2 minutes after last batch is added to water, then drain well in a colander.

Spread grated potatoes and onion on a kitchen towel and roll up jelly-roll style. Twist towel tightly to wring out as much liquid as possible. Transfer potato mixture to a bowl and stir in egg and salt.

Heat 1/4 cup oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches of 4 latkes, spoon 2 tablespoons potato mixture per latke into skillet, spreading into 3-inch rounds with a fork. Reduce heat to moderate and cook until undersides are browned, about 5 minutes. Turn latkes over and cook until undersides are browned, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to paper towels to drain and season with salt. Add more oil to skillet as needed. Keep latkes warm on a wire rack set in a shallow baking pan in oven.

Cooks' notes:

• Latkes may be made up to 8 hours ahead. Reheat on a rack set over a baking sheet in a 350°F oven, about 5 minutes.


I discovered that latkes are quite easy to make. This recipe is simple, easy and very tasty. I used the food processor to grate the potatoes (no bloody knuckles!) and with my contacts in, onions don't bother me at all. Lastly, I was only making a small amount, so it only took 20 minutes (2 batches). It looks like latkes don't have to be a once a year thing anymore.

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