Thursday, November 29

Potato Latkes

Growing up, I remember always being jealous of my friends who were celebrating Hannukah. Besides the eight days of presents and gold chocolate coins, I love Jewish food. My favorite dish is latkes (crispy crunchy potato pancakes), which I've made several times over the years. This recipe is super simple and requires only a few ingredients. They make a great side dish served with sour cream or apple sauce, but try mini versions as appetizers at your next holiday party or larger latkes topped with smoked salmon for a light meal.  I served them to my fiance and friends for a substantial football-watching snack that paired great with beers.

Potato Latkes:
  • Peel 5 large Russet potatoes and 1 large yellow onion and grate using the large holes of a box grater.*
  • Place the grated vegetables in a large kitchen towel and squeeze out all the excess water.**
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 eggs, 1/4 fine plain breadcrumbs, 2 tsp. baking powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Add in the grated potatoes and onion and stir until well combined.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp. canola oil and 2 tbsp. duck fat*** in a large, preferably cast iron, skillet until very hot but not smoking.
  • Roll the potato mixture into golf-ball size balls and place in the skillet.
  • Use the back of a spatula to form the latkes into disks.
  • Cook for 3-5 minutes per side, then flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until cakes are brown and cooked through.
  • Remove cakes with a spatula and place on a wire rack over a baking sheet.
  • Keep the cakes warm in a 325F oven while you finish cooking the rest of them.****
  • Remove latkes from the oven and serve with sour cream, applesauce, or both.

Serves six - ten
*Or use a grating attachment on a food processor.
**This is extremely important to making sure your latkes are crispy.
***Optional, but gives great flavor to latkes.
****You will probably need to add more oil and fat in between batches and repeat at least two more times before all the batter is done.