Latkes are often served as part of the Jewish holiday, Hanukkah, as a reminder of the small jar of lamp oil that miraculously lasted eight nights. Fry up some delicious, crispy potato pancakes and enjoy them with sour cream and applesauce or nontraditional toppings.
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
1 medium onion
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup flour or matzo meal
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 medium scallions, minced
1 cup vegetable oil, for frying
Sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Use the coarse shredding disk of a food processor or a hand grater to grate the potatoes, then the onion. Place grated veggies in colander to drain, and press to remove liquid. Then place grated veggies in a line in the center of a clean smooth-surfaced kitchen towel. Roll the towel tightly around potatoes and onion, twist and squeeze over the sink to remove as much liquid as possible.
- In a large bowl, place egg, flour or matzo, pepper, salt and scallions and stir to mix well. Add potatoes and onions and stir thoroughly.
- You can use two 12-inch skillets to fry all the latkes at once, or use one pan for two batches. If you plan to cook all at once, place a cooling rack on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Or, if frying in batches, heat the oven to 200°F. and place cooling rack on top of a baking tray in the oven to keep the latkes warm until serving.
- Pour oil a quarter-inch deep in the pan or pans and turn heat to medium-high. When the oil shimmers, drop in a potato shred. If it bubbles up immediately, the oil is hot enough. Use a quarter-cup measure to scoop potato batter, packing it in with your fingers, then place each scoop gently in the oil. Flatten with the bottom of the cup to about a half-inch thick. Repeat, leaving space between patties in the pan.
- Cook each latke for about 3 minutes per side, reducing heat to medium if they begin browning too quickly. When they are browned and crisp, transfer to the prepared rack on the baking sheet. Continue until all batter is cooked.
- Serve with sour cream and applesauce.
While the traditional way to serve latkes is with sour cream and applesauce, hot from the pan, if you want to stray from tradition, these crispy potato cakes are very versatile. Top heated leftover latkes with cooked greens and a fried egg with a dash of hot sauce, or a slice of fresh tomato and some lox.
Yield: 6 servings