Hanukkah begins tonight…time for latkes!
Latkes are potato pancakes that are fried in oil. They are a traditional Hanukah food, prepared to symbolize the one day’s worth of oil that is said to have burned for 8 days so many years ago.
Because they are one of my daughter’s favorite foods, I make latkes year-round. She prefers them plain, but the rest of my family loves them with fairly traditional adornments, so we usually eat them with big dollops of homemade apple butter and crème fraîche.
Latkes are also great with all sorts of chutneys, and Melissa Clark has some fantastic latke topping ideas…honeyed Greek yogurt and pomegranate seeds, anyone?
When making latkes, it’s best to drain as much water out of the grated potatoes as possible as this keeps them from getting soggy. I like to add a little flour, which along with the egg acts as a binder, though I’ve made them without flour or eggs and they worked out just fine (different, but fine). If you find that you like the thicker latkes, you can add an additional egg and a bit more flour. To keep these gluten-free, you can mix the grated potato with some leftover mashed potatoes…this may work out well for you if you’ve got mashed potato leftovers from Thanksgiving.
I recommend eating your latkes immediately. If you need to freeze them, though, warm them in a 350°F oven before serving.
Recipe for Latkes
* 4 medium-large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced longways (so they fit into the food processor)
* 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced to fit into the food processor
* 2 tablespoons finely minced parsley
* 2 tablespoons finely minced green onion
* 2 eggs, preferably organic and free-range, whisked with a fork
* 2 tablespoons organic all purpose flour or leftover mashed potatoes
* Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
* Olive oil (or another non-GMO/heat-stable fat or oil...not "vegetable oil") for frying
1. Using a hand grater or a food processor, grate the potatoes and the onion. Place in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and press out the water.
2. Mix the potato and onion in a bowl with the parsley, green onion, eggs, and the flour. Mix well. Season with 2 pinches each of salt and pepper.
3. Heat a cast iron skillet or a griddle and coat with a thin layer of the oil (about 1/2 inch). Place spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the oil, flattening each one with a spatula.
4. Fry several minutes, until golden brown, and then flip over and continue frying until both sides are well browned. Drain on paper towels. Add additional oil to the pan as needed to fry the rest of the latkes.
5. Serve immediately with applesauce and crème fraîche or sour cream (or the topping(s) of your choice.