Happy Hanukkah! To ring in the holiday here, I made a huge batch of potato latkes. One of my all time favorite foods, they’re just delicious….if you get them right. Latkes need to be crispy and crunchy on the outside with the interior cooked through and tender. They shouldn’t be laden with grease either. I’ve made many recipes over the years and think this one might just be the best.
I started with some inspiration from my friend Leslie Jonath. If you haven’t seen her video on making latkes, watch it here. What I loved about her method is the two blade process in the food processor. She puts her potatoes through the grating blade then changes back to the normal chopping blade. I ended up grating three and putting two-thirds of the grated potatoes in with the chopping blade. This left me with some potato chards, which I like to have poking out of the latkes.
I cook mine in a non-stick pan with a thin layer of oil, versus a pan with an inch or two of oil. They still come out beautifully crisp but I find them much less greasy. I used a small ice cream scoop to get my pancakes nice and even, pressing on the mixture well to remove any of the excess moisture before I dropped each mound into the pan. This helped get that uber-crunchy texture too.
I keep them in a low oven to stay warm while I cook the rest and serve ’em up with applesauce and sour cream. My best advice? Make lots! They dissapear fast.
Crispy Potato Latkes
3 large russet potatoes, peeled
1/2 large onion
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup matzoh meal or flour
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
vegetable or canola oil for frying
apple sauce and sour cream for serving
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place a rack in a baking sheet and set aside.
Set up the food processor with the grating blade. Grate all the potatoes, and the onion, then transfer them to a bowl. Remove the grating blade, replace it with the regular chopping blade, and return two-thirds of the potato/onion mixture to the bowl of the processor. Press the “pulse” button 4-5 times, just enough to create a roughly chopped mixture. Transfer the mixture back to the bowl and stir well to combine. Add the eggs, matzoh meal, salt, and pepper and mix well.
Heat a large non stick saute pan over medium heat. Add just enough oil to coat the pan in a thin (1/4-inch at most) layer. When the oil is hot, add spoonfuls (about 2 tbs each) of the potato mixture, pressing out any excess moisture in the bowl before the mixture goes into the pan. Gently press each pancake and cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip over, cook until brown on the other side, transfer to the rack, and sprinkle with salt. Place the rack/baking sheet in the oven to keep latkes warm while cooking the remaining batter in the same way.
Serve latkes with apple sauce and sour cream on the side and enjoy.