Images Credit score:
Latke images by Alison Bickel; technique images by Sheryl Julian
Latkes, that are splendidly crisp potato pancakes, are the specialty of the Jewish vacation Hanukkah. However it’s truly the oil, not the potatoes, that’s important for the vacation. As the story goes, historic Jews used the small quantity of oil they needed to rededicate their Temple in Jerusalem and the oil lasted for eight days, which is why Jews gentle candles for eight nights.
Yearly, my dad would fry latkes (pronounced LOT-kuz) in a skillet of scorching oil, nevertheless it bothered him that his batter of grated potatoes would flip grey so shortly from publicity to the air. So he determined to give you a greater latke recipe.
Methods to Make Crispy Latkes
My father was an engineer with chemist envy, and there wasn’t something he couldn’t work out with slightly trial and error, so he determined to resolve this latke drawback as soon as and for all. He tried many issues through the years, together with grating the potatoes by hand right into a bowl of grated onions. However when the meals processor got here alongside, he discovered his answer.
He lastly settled on this method:
- He would combine all of the uncooked potatoes together with some onion in a meals processor till the combination was very easy and pulpy. He already knew that onion helped maintain the potatoes from graying; this labored even higher.
- Then he would wrap the potato-onion combination in a kitchen towel and squeeze out as a lot moisture as he may to make the combination as dry as potential—this helps the latkes crisp.
- Then he added eggs, flour, and seasonings, and shortly fried the latkes.
These fried latkes are extra like latkes you get at Jewish delis, in all probability as a result of these locations additionally typically use this technique. They’re slightly like mashed potatoes in texture, however with a crispy exterior.
Which Potatoes Work Greatest for Latkes
In our many latke-making adventures, we discovered that russets work finest as a result of they’re the starchiest potato and out there at each market, large and small.
TIPS FOR THE BEST POTATO LATKES
To today, I nonetheless make latkes utilizing his technique, with only a few small adjustments.
- I squeeze the potato-onion combination in cheesecloth as a substitute of a kitchen towel, since you’ll be able to simply discard the cheesecloth afterwards. (It’s a lot simpler.)
- I additionally add one hand-grated potato to the combination. This provides some interesting texture to the in any other case easy and creamy latkes, and I really like the mixture.
- Submerge peeled potatoes in water till you’re prepared to make use of them, after which after you’ve squeezed the potato-onion combination within the cheesecloth, go away it bundled up within the cheesecloth till you’re prepared to combine the ultimate latke batter.
- Some cooks make or purchase schmaltz, which is rendered hen fats, and use it to fry latkes. It really works particularly properly and provides a particular style to the potato pancakes. Vegetarians, after all, favor oil.
- You solely want a skinny layer of oil within the pan to fry the latkes, nevertheless it must be extremely popular. Unsure if it’s scorching sufficient? A crust of bread ought to brown in 10 seconds. Add the latke batter by the spoonful and let the bottoms brown properly earlier than turning them.
Strategies for Serving Latkes
I wish to serve latkes in batches as they arrive off the range, whereas scorching. For those who’d fairly serve them unexpectedly, place a baking sheet within the oven and warmth the oven to 250°F. Switch the cooked latkes to the baking sheet to maintain them heat till you’re able to serve.
Each latke-loving household has tales about everybody standing across the kitchen pestering the cook dinner for bites of scorching, crisp pancakes, not ready for them to chill. Don’t ship them away. It’s one of the simplest ways to eat latkes!
Add a bowl of bitter cream for dipping, and a few applesauce too, should you like. Cross the napkins!
Storing and Freezing Latkes
Latkes will maintain within the fridge for five days. Simply wrap them in foil and reheat in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, uncovered, in a 375°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
Latkes will freeze properly for one month, wrapped in foil and tucked inside a ziptop freezer bag. Reheat with out defrosting in a 375°F oven on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer, lined loosely, for 10 minutes. Uncover and proceed reheating for 10 minutes extra, or till scorching all through.
Extra Hanukkah Specialties
Up to date December three, 2019 : We spiffed up this submit with some new images, a video, and a few further suggestions! Glad Hanukkah!