I was enamored with Jewish traditions in my early twenties. Admittedly, the fascination was mostly food oriented, luring me into every Jewish cookbook I could find. But, since mine was a Gramma, not a Bubbe, there were no secret latke recipes passed down the family tree. Luckily, the blogosphere brings a wealth of useful information, and with it, the perfect latke recipe.
Traditionally eaten during Hanukkah, latkes are shredded potato cakes fried to a crispy golden brown and topped with pretty much anything. They are both easy and cute, due to the long-shred, food processor method of Smitten Kitchen. And the make-ahead-and-freeze (or refrigerate) convenience makes latkes my favorite appetizer of the moment.
- 1 large russet potato, peeled
- 1/2 white onion, peeled & cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- grapeseed oil, for frying
Set up food processor with shredding blade. Cut the potato in half; place it sideways in the chute of the food processor and shred — this creates longer, prettier strands. Shred the onion on top of the potato. Place the potato-onion mixture in a double layer of cheesecloth; squeeze until mixture is dry. Let stand for 2 minutes and squeeze again.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, egg, salt and pepper. Add potato mixture and gently toss until well combined.
In cast-iron skillet over medium heat, pour in enough oil come half-way up the sides of latkes. When oil is hot, use a mini cookie scoop to drop packed spoonfuls of latke batter into the skillet; gently flatten and shape latkes at this point. Fry until each side is crispy and golden brown, about 1-1/2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towel-lined sheet pan. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil as needed.
Wrap cooled latkes well and store in refrigerator up to two days or in the freezer up to two months. Place latkes on sheet pan in a single layer and reheat in oven or toaster oven.
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