Monday, December 14, 2009

Latkes 101!

Dug out the apple peeler yesterday to make homemade applesauce. It also makes easy work of peeling potatoes, with just a twist of the wing-nut! Eight potatoes peeled in seconds! ok, maybe minutes.

Grating or shredding the potatoes along with the onions, keeps them from turning that reddish brown color. Although it makes no difference in the taste at all. I mix everything together and let it drain in a strainer in the sink. I'm all for the easy way out.

Grab a small handful and shape into patties, don't crowd the pan, and fry them until golden brown.

Carefully turn them over with a fork and fry until golden brown on the underside.

Drain them on a plate lined with paper towels!

Sneak one just to taste. If you find you need more salt, not too late, just sprinkle some kosher salt on the hot latkes while they are on the paper towels. Sneak two, just to be sure.

Serve with applesauce. Latkes and applesauce goes perfectly with a brisket. Some folks like their latkes with sour cream. We are not those folks, and there has been discussion at the table when we have guests who are those folks. They can have all the sour cream they want. Leaves more applesauce for us! Those same folks are apt to argue about Matzoh balls. Sinkers or floaters. I make fall-aparters:) Not a big deal, I can order those in. No problem, but I have yet to find a good potato latke from a restaurant or a supermarket, at least not like my grandma used to make!  I like homemade. So I was forced to learn. Not bad, if I say so myself.  Even the tough critics at home, Miss Picky and her big brother, can't get enough latkes!


Have to say, some holiday foods are not the prettiest, but it sure does taste good! There were two briskets in the same pan, one fell apart, one sliced nice. So leftover became "pulled" brisket on rolls!

Potato Latkes
Printable Recipe

8 potatoes (I use Russets or Yukon Golds)
2 onions
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup matzoh meal (flour or bread crumbs can be substituted)
1 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (more or less to taste)
vegetable oil

Peel potatoes and coarsely grate by hand, along with the onion.  You can also use a food processor (I used the medium shredding disc for a Cuisinart Food Processor for both the potatoes and the onions.)   Then put the shredded potatoes and onions into a fine strainer over a bowl and press out whatever excess liquid you can.  Pour the potatoes and onions into a bowl with the beaten eggs, salt and pepper. Mix it all together and then add a handful or two of matzoh meal. Mix to combine. Then put it all back into the strainer and let it drain as you make the latkes.

Heat about 1/2 inch of oil to medium-high heat, about 350°F. Form the mixture into pancakes about the size of your palm or you can spoon 2 tablespoons potato mixture per latke into skillet, spreading and flattening into rounds with a fork. Don't crowd the pan. Cook until the bottoms are browned, about 5 minutes. Turn latkes over and cook about 5 minutes more, until the undersides are golden brown. You can tell it's browning from the edges, don't burn them. Add more oil to skillet as needed.  Too high a heat is not good, the oil should not be smoking.

Place finished latkes on paper towels to drain. Keep latkes warm on a wire rack set in a shallow baking pan in 250°F oven.  Eat hot with applesauce. Or sour cream.  They freeze well, to reheat, do not thaw, place frozen latkes on a rack in a sheet pan and bake at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes.

Click here for the applesauce recipe.

Click here for the Brisket recipe.

Happy Hanukkah! Merry Christmas!  Enjoy the holidays and wishing everyone a very Happy New Year, it'll be here before you know it!


  1. Carol, the entire meal looks FABULOUS. I know I would love your latkes ... the color is just the way I think they should be ... a crispy brown. And the brisket looks perfectly cooked and tender.

    Funny but true .... right before coming to your site, I was reading an email from Cook's Illustrated on how to cook the best latkes. :)

  2. If you're giving yourself a pat on the back then I know this latkes have to be wonderful! Making Matzoh balls has to be like making my mother's potato dumplings...sinkers, floaters or fall-aparters - LOL!

  3. That a very interesting looking contraption there first time I am seeing one :) . Looks yummm.

  4. Nothing better- my grandmother made something similar, sans onions. We ate them for lunch, with syrup!

  5. I like both sour cream and applesauce (although applesauce wins) but I have an uncle who uses powdered sugar on his latkes. Talk about odd!

  6. Sure looks delish,! I didn't know that if you grate the onion in with the potatoes it stops them from turning color...thanks for that tip!

  7. thanks for visiting my blog, oh these look wonderful and I love how you had with brisket


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