It was a bit busy during the holiday season, but some how it isn't quite Hanukkah without a steaming plate of potato latkes to share with family. I had the opportunity to make latkes on 2 evenings this year. I've been making them for about 10 years now, and I think the time and practice has helped with the ease in preparation and better results and taste. This year my husband had assured with his latke consumption that I had reached my goal.
The first time I made latkes I had hand grated the potatoes and diced the onions with my chef's knife. Since I make so many of them at one time, using the "old school" methods could take me all day. I now use my mini food processor for my onions and grate the potatoes using a Cuisinart. A 2 burner griddle pan helps speed the process even more when I can cook about 12 latkes at a time.
I use the Featherlight Potato Latkes recipe from my "Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant Cookbook."
Makes 15 latkes 2 1/2 inches in diameter, serves 4 (for family gatherings I usually triple the recipe, but use 4 eggs, and a very large onion)
6 medium potatoes
1 small onion
2 large eggs
1/4 cup unbleached white flour (or matzoh meal)
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of baking powder
freshly ground pepper to taste
vegetable oil for frying (I use canola)
sour cream or applesauce to top off your latkes
Grate the potatoes in a food processor or on the largest grating side of a hand grater. Drain the grated potatoes in a colander, pressing out the liquid.
Finely chop the onion using the steel blade of a food processor or a knife, you can also use the smallest grating side of a hand grater.
If using a food processor return the potatoes to the processor bowl ( I only return half the grated potatoes, because I like to put the other half in the mixture after it has all been mixed so that my latkes have a grated potato texture) add the onion, eggs, flour, salt, baking powder, and pepper. Whirl on high speed until the mixture is well blended.
If you don't have a food processor, combine the grated potatoes and onions with the other ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a large skillet, I use my cast iron (2 burner griddle) Drop a large spoonful of batter into the skillet and flatten with a spoon to make your latke as thin as your want (an ice cream scooper works great for this). Fry the latkes on both sides until brown and crisp, adding more oil as necessary. Drain the latkes on paper towels and keep them warm.
Serve warm latkes immediately topped with sour cream or a side of applesauce.
Sundays at the Moosewood Restaurant, The Moosewood Collective, New York, 1990, pp. 422-423.
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