Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Latkes - Potato Pancakes

These are some scary pictures that are about to follow. I want to make Latkes almost every year when Hanuka time rolls around and I never seem to do it. This year I was determined to do it. So I put a little bit of research into recipes and techniques because if I was going to make them (and then introduce them to the family) I didn't want them to be terrible and a total failure and have no one eat them again.  

Sadly, I made a tragic mistake - I did NOT peel the potatoes.  ** I also made another terrible mistake of nearly slicing my thumb off with the box grater, but that didn't affect the taste or look of the final product- not peeling the potatoes however, really really did. **

On a side note - Be Careful in the Kitchen, People!!

They are called kitchen "tools" for a reason, not kitchen toys. Be aware and be careful, Nobody wants to be rushing anybody else to the emergency room or running parts under cold water or preparing food while wearing band aids. 

Also, there are no beautiful finished photos of this product (and really LESS than stellar photos making these, It was quite the wild romp!) But don't let that deter you, They are really super duper easy to make - and I have ALL the delicious short-cuts right here for you. 


2 pounds russet potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed, and shredded - do NOT believe the recipe, Peel those potatoes!!
1/2 cup grated onion
Salt and pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 c flour
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
Vegetable oil or Peanut oil for frying

In a food processor or on a box grater, coarsely shred the potato and onion. For longer strands, lay the potato sideways in the chute of your food processor. 

Transfer to a colander or wrap in a cheesecloth sling, and squeeze as dry as possible. Let stand for 2 minutes, then squeeze dry again.

You can use a kitchen towel if you don't have cheese cloth. A basic recipe calls for a sieve pressing, but I don't think it removes enough of the liquid. Cheese cloth is cheap and super duper handy to have around your kitchen. You should really use it for this recipe - you'll be happy you did. (Yes, I know, the photo is terrible)

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, egg, salt and pepper together.

In a separate bowl that is microwave safe, take your drained and squeezed potato shreds and pop them into the microwave.  Cover potato mixture and microwave until just warmed through but not hot, 1 to 2 minutes, stirring mixture with fork every 30 seconds. Spread potato mixture evenly over second rimmed baking sheet and let cool for 10 minutes. 

When your potato mixture has cooled, stir in the potato onion mixture until all pieces are evenly coated.

In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until shimmering. Drop packed teaspoons of the potato mixture into the skillet and flatten them with the back of a spoon. * I used my large ice cream / cookie dough scooper and it worked GREAT! But if you don't have one of those just use spoons. 

 Cook the latkes over moderately high heat until the edges are golden, about 1 1/2 minutes; flip and cook until golden on the bottom, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.

TO MAKE AHEAD: Cooled latkes can be covered loosely with plastic wrap and held at room temperature for up to 4 hours. Alternatively, they can be frozen on baking sheet until firm, transferred to zipper-lock bag, and frozen for up to 1 month. Reheat latkes in 375-degree oven until crisp and hot, 3 minutes per side for room-temperature latkes and 6 minutes per side for frozen latkes.