Tonight is the first night of the Jewish holiday, Chanukah, during which we traditionally eat foods fried in oil. Latkes (pronounced lot-kuz or lot-keys, depending on where you grew up), otherwise known as potato pancakes, are one of those delicious fried foods we indulge in for the week. As you know, you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy latkes, and if you’re going to go through the whole mess to make them (yes, it’s messy), cheer up because you can double the recipe and freeze them! After they’re cooked, let them cool in a single layer on a cookie sheet, then freeze, and transfer to a freezer-safe container. Next time you want them, reheat (don’t defrost) in a single layer on a cookie sheet in a 450 degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes, or until crisp.
Latkes – from Fast and Festive Meals for the Jewish Holidays by Marlene Sorosky
This is my favorite latke recipe. The vitamin C, either in tablet form or powdered, helps prevent the shredded potatoes from turning gray.
- 1 vitamin C tablet or 1/4 tsp powdered vitamin C
- 2 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 TBS flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- Peanut oil or coconut oil for frying
Using the shredding blade on your food processor (if you don’t own a food processor, please buy one! not only is hand-grating potatoes unbelievably painful, a processor is one of the handiest kitchen machines ever), shred the potatoes and onion and transfer to a large colander.
Squeeze out as much liquid as you can, then transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients except for oil, stir well. Meanwhile preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil up to about 1/2-inch high. Squeeze out mixture, measuring out 1/8 cup amounts and placing in the pan, flattening slightly.
Fry on both sides until lightly golden brown.
Transfer to a cooling rack turned upside down on top of newspaper to drain. Keep latkes warm in a low oven up to an hour before serving. Makes about 24 latkes. Serve with applesauce, or sour cream, if you like.