Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sophie in the Kitchen Latkes

Happy Hanukkah!  Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of lights and is a Jewish holiday.  This holiday is celebrated for eight days and nights and commemorates the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks.  The miracle of the oil that burned for eight days was that there was only enough oil to light the menorah for one day.  This great miracle that occurred is why food fried in oil like latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (doughnuts) are traditionally eaten.  I have made latkes annually for the last few years and this is exactly how I've made them each time.  I like mine served with sour cream and I now use plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream.  Also, I did a small batch with shredded carrots, these give a hint of sweetness which are delicious.  Enjoy!  Chag Sameach to my Jewish friends!

Sophie in the Kitchen Latkes

3 large russet potatoes, peeled and shredded
½ large onion, grated (or finely diced)
3 tablespoons flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3 eggs
vegetable oil (for frying)


Wash and scrub potatoes.  Peel potatoes and cut each potato into quarters.

Shred in food processor with shredding disc.   Place shredded potatoes in a bowl of cold water.  This allows the potato starch to settle in the bottom.  The water will turn brown.  (You can also use a box grater to shred potatoes if you don’t have a food processor.)

Grate onions with a box grater or if you are already using a food processer, place onion in food processer to finely dice.

Drain potatoes in a colander and press down.  I placed a paper towel on top of potatoes while pressing down to drain.  You can also place potatoes in a cheesecloth and wring well.   (*When you pour off the watery brown liquid in the bowl, save the layer of pale beige paste at the bottom.  This is potato starch, and it will help your latkes stick together.  Scrape up the paste, dump in the potato mixture!)

In a bowl, combine potatoes, onion, eggs, flour and salt.

Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet (I used my dutch oven) over medium-high heat and add enough oil to cover skillet.

Place large spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the hot oil.  Cook for about 3 minutes or until golden brown on one side.

Flip latkes onto the other side to brown.  Press down to form a ¼ to ½ inch thick patty.  Cook for additional 3 minutes or until golden brown.

Place latkes on paper towel lined baking sheet to drain excess oil.

Serve hot with sour cream or applesauce.  (I use plain greek yogurt in place of sour cream.)

Makes about 30 latkes.