Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom! Everyone loves latkes and since Hanukkah is quickly approaching, I’ve been honing my latke-making skills for the past few weeks. In my opinion, there’s nothing more delicious than indulging in ‘hayseh, fetteh latkes’ straight from the skillet!
Recently, Zane Caplansky and I cooked up the most amazing potato latkes at B’nai Brith Canada’s culinary event, Second Helpings…Encore! celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic cookbook, Second Helpings Please! https://www.bnaibrith.ca/_b_nai_brith_canada_announces_our_signature_event_of_the_season
Zane and I also cooked up a big batch of amazing potato latkes on Episode 4 of my podcast, Norene’s KitchenCast! Hear the sizzling sounds of latkes frying and learn some of the tips that we share on how to make the best latkes ever!
Listen now! https://noreneskitchencast.simplecast.fm/latke
For lacy latkes, grate potatoes using the grating blade of the food processor, using very light pressure. Empty potatoes into a colander and rinse under cold running water to remove the starch (this also helps prevent the potatoes from turning dark). Squeeze dry and then process in batches using the steel blade, with very quick on/off pulses. Do not over-process. Transfer grated potatoes to a bowl and mix them with the other ingredients, working quickly.
For lots more luscious latke recipes, including Carrot Latkes, Cauliflower Latkes, and Winter Vegetable Latkes for a Crowd, click here: https://www.ou.org/life/food/recipes/latkes/
Adapted from Second Helpings Please! (p. 99) published by Montreal B’nai B’rith Women 1968.
6 potatoes, peeled and grated
1 small onion, grated
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 Tbsp oil
2 tsp baking powder
Oil for frying
- Grate potatoes and drain well. Blend in remaining ingredients.
- Drop from a spoon into hot oil in a frying pan and brown on both sides, turning only once.
Yield: about 2 dozen latkes, about 3 inches in diameter, depending on the size of the potatoes.
EASY POTATO LATKES
Adapted from The New Food Processor Bible (and all my years of latke-making!)
Latkes are luscious served with applesauce (preferably homemade), Greek yogurt or sour cream.
4 medium potatoes, peeled or scrubbed (I prefer Idaho/russets)
1 medium onion
2 eggs (or 1 egg plus 2 egg whites)
1/3 cup flour or matzo meal
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp canola or grapeseed oil (plus more as needed for frying latkes)
- Cut potatoes in chunks and onion in half. Place in processor with eggs. Process on the Steel Blade until pureed, 20 to 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients except oil; process a few seconds longer to blend into a smooth mixture.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drop potato mixture into hot oil by large tablespoonfuls to form pancakes/latkes; brown well on both sides.
- Drain well on paper towels. Add additional oil to pan as needed. Stir batter before cooking each new batch.
- Latkes can be placed on a parchment-lined baking sheet and kept warm in a 250ºF oven.
Baked Latkes: To bake latkes instead of frying, place oven racks on lowest and middle positions in oven. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Drop potato mixture by large tablespoonfuls onto well-oiled baking sheets; flatten slightly. Bake for 10 minutes, until bottoms are browned and crispy. Turn latkes over. Transfer pan from upper rack to lower rack and vice versa. Bake 8 to 10 minutes longer.
Yield: about 2 dozen or 5 dozen miniatures. Freezes well.
SWEET POTATO & ZUCCHINI LATKES
1 medium zucchini (1/2 pound), ends trimmed
1 large sweet potato (3/4 pound), peeled
1/4 cup minced onion
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp canola oil
Unsweetened applesauce (optional)
- Slice zucchini lengthwise and remove seeds. Coarsely grate zucchini and potato in a food processor or with a hand grater; transfer to a medium bowl. Add onion, egg, salt, and pepper; stir to combine.
- Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in two batches, add zucchini mixture by heaping tablespoons to skillet, gently flattening with the back of the spoon as you go. Cook until the edges are golden, about 1 minute more (adjust heat if necessary to prevent burning). Drain on paper towels.
- Repeat with remaining oil and remaining zucchini mixture. Serve latkes hot with applesauce of the side, if desired.
Make-Ahead: Latkes can be made up to 6 hours in advance and kept covered at room temperature. Reheat on a baking sheet (preferably dark bottomed) at 375ºF until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
SMASHED POTATO LATKES
A no-grate alternative to potato latkes—and a terrific way to get your frustrations out by beating up on a potato! This recipe multiplies easily. So yummy when topped with a dab of goat cheese. If you like, during the last 5 minutes of baking sprinkle each potato with some grated cheese.
8 baby red-skinned potatoes
1–2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Seasonings to taste (such as coarse salt, rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika)
- Boil potatoes in salted water 15–20 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain well.
- Place potatoes in a single layer, about 3 inches apart, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Cover one potato with a piece of parchment paper. Smash once or twice with the flat part of your palm, making a flat disc about 4 inches in diameter. Round off ragged edges by pushing them together with your fingers. Repeat with remaining potatoes.
- Brush tops of smashed potatoes lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings. Bake, uncovered, in a 400ºF oven for 20–25 minutes or until golden and crispy. If desired, turn potatoes over halfway through baking and brush second side with oil.
Makes 8. Recipe can be doubled or tripled easily.
Variation: As an alternative, consider cookbook author Laura Frankel’s method. She roasts new potatoes on a baking sheet for about an hour at 350ºF, then smashes them and pan-fries them in olive oil until they’re crispy and brown, about 5 minutes per side. Frankel says that, sprinkled with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, they’re addictive.