Here’s the deal: I like my latkes thin, crispy and traditional (read: russet potatoes.) This is my winner recipe that I’ve been using for years. I deem it “excellent” as you can see by my photo. 🙂
It’s a recipe by Nach Waxman that I found in the The New Basics Cookbook by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso.
Here are the secrets:
a) You’ve got to use a lot of oil (yes, your house and whatever clothes you are wearing will smell like potato latkes for at least a week. It’s worth it.
b) You’ve got to drain the grated potatoes in order to get the liquid out. Don’t skip that step.
c) My husband Ely feels that grating the potatoes by hand is the best, most authentic way for the latkes to have the right consistency. While I agree with him, I’m kind of attached to my hands and don’t want to end up in the emergency room on Chanukah. So, when he’s doing it, he’ll grate by hand. When I do it, I use my food processor.
Happy Chanukah! Enjoy!
1. Using a hand grater or a food processor, coarsely grate the
(unpeeled) potatoes and place them in a glass or ceramic bowl. Let them sit for 15 – 20 minutes. The potatoes will release liquid and turn red.
2. Grate the onions into another bowl, and set them aside.
3. Transfer the potatoes to a large colander, and let them drain for 10 minutes. Then spray them hard with water for 2 to 3 minutes, working the shreds with your fingers. The reddish starch will wash out and the potatoes will be white again. Squeeze them to remove as much water as possible, and transfer them to a clean mixing bowl.
4. Using a fork, stir the onions into the potatoes. Then add the eggs, flour, baking powder, and pepper, and mix thoroughly.
5. Heat 1/8 inch of corn oil (and chicken fat) in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Using a slotted spoon, drop level spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the hot oil. Saute them until golden brown on both sides, pressing them lightly with the spatula when you turn them, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. As they are cooked, drain the pancakes on brown paper bags and keep them warm in a 200° oven. Add more oil to the skillet as needed for additional batches. Serve the latkes immediately, piping hot with applesauce and sour cream (of course.)
If you want a twist on the traditional recipe, try Hilah’s Tex-Mex Latkes: http://hilahcooking.com/tex-mex-latkes/