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Latkes 101 II
Source: Unknown
Serves: N/A

After six days of Hanukah, during which I have made and eaten more potato latkes than ever before, I would like to share some of my observations and to point out some of the useful tips that i have gleaned from other members of this group.

Peeling the potatoes and putting them in cold water with a squeezed lemon, peel and all, keeps them white.

Grating the potatoes on the shredding disc of a food processor together with the onions is the best way, even for a few potatoes.

Draining the grated mixture in a colander until beating in the eggs is essential.

Adding lemon juice to the mixture is a simple and effective way to keep the latkes white.

Matzo meal absorbs far more liquid than flour. When using flour, it is a good idea to return the mixture to the colander to allow it to drain some more while you are frying the first batches.

Adding chopped parsley and green onions is an interesting variation.

Frying the latkes in canola oil or a mixture of canola with extra virgin olive oil works well.

How to minimize the amount of oil absorbed by the latkes is still an unsolved problem, but it helps to use a minimum of oil in a heavy, Teflon-coated frying pan. The temperature should not be too high. Draining the latkes on several layers of paper towel helps.

Yosef has many good points. I'd like to add a few:
"Grating the potatoes on the shredding disc of a food processor together with the onions is the best way, even for a few potatoes."

I shredded all the potatoes as Yosef did, but then I diced the onion (and scallion) and with about half the shredded potatoes, chopped them finer using the food processor blades. Thus my potato/onion mixture was about half shredded along with finer chopped onion and potato as well. This made a nice chewy center to go along with the lacy edges.

I did not use any flour or other binder. Instead, I drained the potatoes in a mesh sieve over a bowl, discarded the liquid, and used the starch left at the bottom of the bowl. I beat the eggs into the starch, then added the potatoes. However, by the time I got done making pancakes, there was liquid left in the bowl. Next year, I'll probably press the potato mixture against the sieve in smaller batches to remove more liquid.

The best way I have found to drain latkes (or other fried food) is on a brown paper bag instead of paper towels because the bag does not stick to the latke, thus preserving the crispness. However, the latkes that were saved from one night, and reheated were too oily. When I was putting them away, I noticed that they had visible oil, but I didn't do anything about it at that time. Maybe if I had blotted them, that would have helped. Next time...

Posted by Yosef Gilboa and Steve Leventhal

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A