Saturday, December 19, 2009


Happy Hanukkah!! Last night I celebrated Hanukkah early in the evening by lighting candles with the kiddos and opening presents. After they went to bed, neighborhood friends from book group came over for discussion... and food! Since I was hosting the book group discussion this month during Hanukkah, I definitely wanted to share some traditional holiday goodies. It was so wonderful having friends who were eager to participate as well. Though, what's not to like about jelly donuts and thawed ruggelach baked last week!

Of course, a Hanukkah celebration would not be complete without latkes - potato pancakes. Like many Jewish recipes, there is no 'standard' (as my friend who tackled making a delicious sweet kugel discovered!) and when working with produce as the main ingredient the quantities and ratios aren't exactly set in stone.

Last year my latkes we pulsed so fine in the food processor and, although tasty, were a bit to creamy inside without much potato texture. This year, I made sure not to repeat that and only used the shredding blade on the food processor. As a result, this batch were awfully similar to hash browns, but still extremely tasty!

A new tip from my sister this year was to add the cut ends of the onion into the oil as it is heating up. The bonus is two-fold as you get onion flavor permeating the oil that the latkes will fry in, and the sizzle will let you know when it has reached the correct temperature to start cooking the latke so they will start frying immediately upon being placed in the oil. Brilliant.

I did my frying two days before book group to give the house time to air out from the smell. But, one big bummer was that our (new) oven died and last night I was forced to reheat them in the microwave instead, which unfortunately didn't allow them to be crispy. But, they still tasted awesome, and I think it was the only food item on our buffet table feast that disappeared completely. On the positive side, the dead oven is forcing me to sit around and wait for a service call at this moment in time, so I'm able to catch up on blogging.

The recipe below is a suggestion of amounts & ratios and can absolutely be modified

2 pounds of potatoes
2 eggs
1 onion
2 Tablespoons matzoh meal, or flour
salt & pepper
lots of oil

Peel potatoes and shred using a food processor. Switch to cutting blade and pulse a few times to break up the larger shreds. Transfer potatoes to a strainer inside of a bowl to allow excess liquid to drain.

Fill frypan or griddle with 1/2" of oil. Cut ends off onion and place in the oil as it heats up. Continue peeling onion and add chunks to the food processor. Pulse until finely chopped and added to draining potatoes. Mix together to help prevent browning and transfer drainer mixture to a bowl. Add beaten eggs, salt, pepper and matzoh meal and mix everything together.

Drop raw potato onion mixture into hot oil - size of latke depending on preference. Allow first side to brown for about five minutes, then flip and continue frying on the other side for 3-4 minutes. Remove and drain on wire racks. Serve immediately, or can be cooled and then frozen at this point. Re-crisp by placing in the oven on a wire rack over a baking sheet for a few minutes on each side.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for making these for us! They were yumo.