To quote the great Cosmo Kramer, “Ya know, these latkes are going like hotcakes!”. That’s right, it’s time to get out your menorah and dreidel – it’s Hanukkah (with Festivus just around the corner!). Even if you don’t usually celebrate the Festival of Lights I highly suggest you start this year. You don’t need to know Hebrew (my dad and I only know a few words); all you need is a potato grater (or better yet, a food processor).
Even though the potato appears to be the essential part of this dish, the key ingredient is really the oil. Remember how the oil miraculously burned for 8 days and then the Israelites beat the Maccabees? No? Well, I hear Adam Sandler made a movie about it… Anyway, this is the first year I have attempted to make latkes and I needed a little help from my friends. So Cucina di Carrie went on the road to my parents’ place. When my parents got married I really had the best of both worlds: Hanukkah and Christmas. Eight more days of presents was just fine with me. That only happened a few times before they wised up. But I still enjoy lighting the candles as a family and who doesn’t like fried potatoes?
- 2 Baking potatoes, peeled
- 1/2 Yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour (or Matzo Meal if you have it)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (black is fine too)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Canola oil for frying
- Applesauce for serving
After peeling the potatoes, cut them into quarters. Grate the potatoes with a grater or a food processor. In a large bowl combine the potatoes and onions. Leave a little room on one side of the bowl for the egg; whisk the egg and mix with the potato mixture. Add the flour, salt, pepper, and baking soda. Mix well. Meanwhile heat the canola oil in a frying pan or skillet. The key is to get the oil really hot so the latkes get nice and crispy. Scoop about a palm full of the mixture into your hands and gently press together. Fry 4-6 latkes at a time, depending on how much room you have, until golden brown on each side (about 3 minutes per side). They are best served right away, but they keep well in the refrigerator. Just heat them up in the oven and get your applesauce out!