Holiday Recipe: Potato Latkes
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Here it is, the classic Hanukkah fried-in-oil treat. Be sure to read through the recipe first so you understand Judy Kancigor's special technique. Note: For Passover, use kosher-for-Passover baking powder or omit.
-- Miriam Rubin
- 2 pounds baking potatoes
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 medium-size firm apple, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or matzoh meal
- Peanut or canola oil for frying
- Applesauce and/or sour cream for serving
Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes. Put in bowl of cold water while preparing remaining ingredients.
Put eggs in blender. Add onion, apple, salt, pepper and baking powder. Drain potatoes and dry in paper towels. Add enough potatoes to fill blender. Turn on blender, and pushing down on sides with spatula (don't blend spatula), blend until potatoes just move around. Add remaining potatoes while blending but do not overprocess or make too smooth. Texture should resemble applesauce.
Transfer to large bowl and stir in enough flour or matzoh meal so batter is flowing but not too thin. (I used half the matzoh meal.)
Now the secret of Ms. Kancigor's very crisp latkes: Pour oil into large skillet to coat bottom. (A nonstick skillet worked best for me.) Heat over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Use a serving spoon or 1/4-cup measure filled half-full to scoop up batter (about 2 tablespoons of batter). Hold spoon about 8 inches above pan and spill it all at once. Splat! Remove hand quickly so you don't burn yourself. Batter will splatter, forming holes. The better to hold the sour cream or applesauce.
Repeat with as many will fit in skillet without crowding. Cook until browned, about 1 minute. Turn and cook the other side, about 1 minute.
Drain well on paper towels. Keep warm in 200-degree oven while cooking remainder, adding more oil as needed. (Thin batter with a little water if it gets too thick.) Serve hot with applesauce and/or sour cream.
Makes about 3 dozen latkes.
-- Adapted from "Cooking Jewish" by Judy Bart Kancigor
First Published November 29, 2007 12:00 am