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Categories: Main courses, Sides, Vegetarian

Classic potato latkes

Classic potato latkes
Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

You can always tell the cook at a Hanukkah party. Because he or she will be the one whose oniony fragrance can make your tear ducts swell, whose knuckles are scraped raw from the box grater and whose eyes have ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour | Serves 10 to 12
Note: Adapted from "The Jewish-American Kitchen," by Raymond Sokolov and Susan R. Friedland.
  • 6 large baking potatoes, peeled
  • 3 onions
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup matzo meal, or flour
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons salt
  • Pepper
  • Peanut oil for frying

Step 1Grate the potatoes and onions, preferably by hand — it makes a difference. Transfer to colander set over a large bowl and knead to squeeze out liquid. Wait a minute or so and squeeze out liquid again. Transfer grated potato and onion to a second bowl. Pour off liquid from the first bowl, saving the starch that will have settled to the bottom. Scrape the starch into the vegetable mixture. Stir in the beaten eggs. Stir in the matzo meal. Add the salt and a lot of pepper. Pour the batter into the colander set over the first bowl, draining as much moisture as possible. It is vital to the fluffiness of the latke.

Step 2Heat a quarter-inch or so of oil in a cast-iron or other heavy skillet, until a strand of potato sizzles, then slide pancakes, about 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter apiece, into the pan. If you like thick, chewier pancakes, slide batter directly from spoon. If you like crispier ones, press them down in the oil. Whatever you do, handle as little as possible.

Step 3Fry until golden on one side, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn over and repeat on the other side, which will take much less time. Drain on brown paper bags or a rack — paper towels will make them soggy. Sprinkle with Maldon salt if so inclined. Serve with sour cream and sautéed apples.

Each of 12 servings:
Calories 284 Protein 4 grams Carbohydrates 35 grams Fiber 3 grams Fat 15 grams Saturated fat 3 grams Cholesterol 31 mg Sugar 3 grams Sodium 893 mg
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