It’s been forever since I’ve posted. Well, not really forever, it has been a month- but it is a long time. It’s been a busy November and beginning of December with lots of crazy things happening that have tested this house. Needing new tires, a kid with a broken foot, a temporary glitch in my husband’s business and a broken washing machine. Throw in my decision to go back to work full-time and you can understand why blogging hasn’t been my number one priority.
Things have somewhat settled down, and I’m counting down the days until Winter Break. But for now, we celebrate Hanukkah, or Chanukah, or Hanukah. So many ways to spell it..but no matter how you spell it, latkes are part of the deal.
Latkes appear in my house once a year. At Hanukkah time. It’s tradition after all. You have to eat fried food to celebrate the miracle of oil lasting 8 days. I will celebrate the miracle of not gaining weight from eating fried chicken, latkes and donuts that are standard Hanukkah faire. Very few ingredients are needed to make latkes , but they are somewhat labor intensive, with grating potatoes and standing over a hot skillet of oil. The smell of oil lingers in the house for days as well and that is not welcomed by my husband. This year I was proactive by opening the window (I was lucky it was a mild day) and turning on the Scentsy, letting the smell of cinnamon apple mingle with the fried potato pancakes.
Since it was just four of us, I made enough for dinner that night with some leftover. I started with 3 lbs. of russet potatoes. Peeled and quickly grated on a box grater. I have made them in the past in my food processor which quickly shreds the potatoes, but I really do think the box grater gives a creamier texture to the inside of the latkes.
Once the potatoes are grated, I put them in a kitchen towel and wring them in the sink. This is an important step for crispy latkes. You won’t believe how much water you will squeeze out of the towel.
Add the potatoes to a bowl and add in 1/2 of a finely chopped onion. Add 4 beaten eggs, a half cup of flour and some baking powder. Season them generously with salt and pepper stir the mixture up.
I use an electric skillet to make my latkes. I set the temperature to 375 and pour in about 1/4 cup of vegetable oil. Some people really put them through a deep fry, but I prefer a shallow fry.
I drop about 2-3 tablespoons of the batter at a time. Cook them till golden brown on both sides and drain on paper towels. I usually make them in advance and heat them up on cookie sheets for dinner. Serve them up with applesauce. Happy Hanukkah!
- 4 large Russet potatoes (about 3 pounds), scrubbed and peeled
- 1/2 large onion , chopped finely in a food processor
- 4 large eggs
- ½ to 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon fine sea salt), plus more for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- freshly ground black pepper
- vegetable or other oil (not olive oil) for frying.
- Using a box grater, grate the potatoes, working as quickly as you can to prevent too much browning. . Transfer the mixture to a clean dish towel squeeze and wring out as much of the liquid as possible. Add to a bowl.
- Add the finely chopped onion to the potatoes.
- Add the eggs, flour, salt, baking powder and pepper, and mix until the flour is absorbed.
- In a medium heavy-bottomed pan or an electric skillet, over medium-high heat, pour in about 1/4 inch of the oil. Once the oil is hot (a drop of batter placed in the pan should sizzle), use a heaping tablespoon to drop the batter into the hot pan, cooking in batches. Use a spatula to flatten and shape the drops into discs. When the edges of the latkes are brown and crispy, about 5 minutes, flip. Cook until the second side is deeply browned, about another 5 minutes. Transfer the latkes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and sprinkle with salt while still warm. Repeat with the remaining batter.