Saturday, December 12, 2009

Potato Latkes

Happy Chanukkah! Or however you spell it... I don't really know since I'm only half Jewish. And it's my dad that's Jewish, so it doesn't really even count (the Jewish religion tends to be passed down by the mother). My family did celebrate Chanukkah, so the rituals aren't completely foreign to me. The food, however, was never a part of my childhood since I didn't have a living Jewish grandma to cook these sorts of things. But it's never too late to learn to be a good half-Jew, so when I spotted these latkes over at Smitten Kitchen, I thought I'd cook some up for dinner tonight (check out the Smitten Kitchen post; the photos are lovely).

If you have a food processor, these are a snap to throw together. If you don't, now you know what to ask for for Christmas. Or Chanukkah. You just grate your onion and potato, mix that with some egg and flour, and then fry 'em up. We thought they benefited from a sprinkling of salt just after frying. John, being Italian and all, thought he'd sprinkle a few with grated Parmesan cheese (delicious, by the way). We just ate ours plain, but you can serve them with sour cream or applesauce.

Potato Latkes
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 lb baking potatoes, peeled
1 small onion, peeled
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. salt plus more for sprinkling
1/4 tsp. pepper
vegetable oil, for frying

Grate potato and onion. Transfer to a colander or wrap in cheesecloth and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Let stand for two minutes, then squeeze it again.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, egg, salt, and pepper. Stir the potatoes and onions into the mixure until all pieces are evenly coated.

In a medium skillet (cast iron is great for this), heat 2 Tbs. of vegetable oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Drop spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the skillet (you can make them any size, mine were about 3 inches across), and flatten them with the back of the spoon. Cook until the edges are golden, about 1 1/2 minutes; flip and cook the other side until golden, about a minute longer. Set on plate covered with paper towels, and sprinkle with salt, if desired. Repeat with the remaining mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as needed. Keep warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve.

Makes about 15 small latkes.

Download printable recipe.


Katydid said...

If you soak your shredded potato in cold water for a few minutes and then pat it all dry with a paper towel, they come out way crispier. Ours were delicious. Happy half-Chanukah!

Kristin said...

Yum! These look delish. I am definitely going to make them. :)

Unknown said...

I'm so happy to see you embracing your Jewish side! Those latkes look wonderful, and I'm an expert! :)