Latkes for All Eight Nights | CUESA

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Returns March 11, 2021 | SF

Latkes for All Eight Nights

Source:

Evan Bloom, Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen

Our recipe guarantees ultra crispy latkes with a velvety interior. The smell of frying potatoes brings me right back to my grandmother’s kitchen at Hanukkah. These are great as a side to brisket or any roast meat and perfect with smoked salmon for a decadent holiday brunch. If there are any left over, crisp them in a pan for a breakfast hash.

We have tried and tried to get the same texture using a food processor, and unfortunately, it’s just not the same. A trusty box grater and a little knuckle blood are neces­sary for superlative latkes.

Salt matters. Diamond Crystal kosher salt is Wise Sons’ go-to. While you can use other brands, or another type of salt, your recipes may not turn out the same because the crystal size, salinity, and weight will vary.

Makes 10 large latkes

INGREDIENTS

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and trimmed, with root end intact
1 lb [455 g] skin-on russet potatoes, scrubbed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup [45 g] potato starch
¾ tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
1 bunch fresh chives, thinly sliced, for garnish

PREPARATION

To keep the latkes warm until they’re all cooked, preheat the oven to 200°F [95°C].

In a medium bowl, grate the onion on the large holes of a box grater and set aside.

Use the same grater (and holes) to shred the potatoes into a separate bowl. Wrap the grated potatoes in a clean kitchen towel or use your bare hands to squeeze out the water over a bowl or sink and discard the excess moisture. Make sure to squeeze out all of the water, so the pota­toes brown well and don’t steam too much in the pan; this will also reduce splattering. Work quickly once the potatoes have been grated to avoid discoloration. Transfer the potatoes to the bowl with the onion and fold together with a large spoon or spatula. Add the eggs, potato starch, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

Set a wire cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet and line the rack with paper towels or paper bags.

Heat a medium cast-iron or other heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat and add oil to a depth of ¼in [6 mm]. When the oil is hot (about 360°F [180°C] on a candy or deep-fat thermometer), spoon about 2 Tbsp of batter per latke into the skillet, lightly spreading the batter into an evenly thick round. Don’t over­crowd the pan. Cook, undisturbed, until golden brown and crisp on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully flip with a wide spatula and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. You’ll need to watch the temperature of the oil, being careful not to burn your latkes or, alternatively, end up with soggy and greasy clumps of potato if the oil is too cold.

Transfer the latkes to the paper towel–lined rack to drain, and season with another pinch of kosher salt. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Garnish with chives and eat them hot, or keep warm in the oven while you cook the rest of the latkes. Latkes freeze particularly well in a resealable plastic bag. Reheat at 350°F [180°C] for about 15 minutes.

Reprinted from Eat Something by Evan Bloom with permission by Chronicle Books, 2020. Photo by Maren Caruso.

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CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »