Last week we were the grateful guests in a latke celebration. Sure, we were a bit ahead of timeline to make these potato pancakes traditionally made during Hanukkah – but our friend Leah was in town from New York for Thanksgiving. She and her family hosted us and taught us all about their method for making latkes and their family’s tradition with them (not to mention plenty of other wonderful conversation and a tour around the lovely Greensburg, IN).
Latkes are quite delicious. I love how something so simple can be so good. We had a little bit of a science project going on – comparing hand grating vs. food processor and Crisco vs. vegetable oil. Turns out all the methods tasted good! We made 3 batches to serve 6 hungry people, and ate it as a main course along with a fancy salad and wine.
Leah’s Family Recipe
Makes about 12
What You Need
4 large potatoes
1 clove garlic
1/4 – 1/2 cups flour
Fresh ground pepper
Neutral frying oil
What To Do
1 Heat about 1/2 inch of your favorite frying oil in a skillet (or two for efficiency) over medium-high heat.
2 Wash and dry 4 large potatoes. Using a food processor or box grater, grate the potatoes (skins on) and place in a large bowl.
3 Grate 1 onion and add it to the bowl of potatoes. Mince 1 clove garlic and add it to to bowl. Add about 2 teaspoons kosher salt and plenty of fresh ground pepper.
4 Using your hands, gently combine the ingredients in the bowl using a folding motion. Don’t over work them. Add 1 egg and flour (about 1/4 cup, maybe more if you used the food processor). You want the materials to hold together but not be doughy.
5 The oil is ready when it sizzles at the addition of a piece of potato. When it is ready, drop medium size clumps of the potato mixture into the oil. Don’t crowd them — we did 4 at a time in a large skillet.
6 Fry for several minutes on each side until browned, flipping only once. You are looking for a nice crispy brown. Place the finished latkes on a plate covered with a paper towel to remove excess oil, and transfer to a low oven to keep warm until serving.
7 Serve warm with sour cream and homemade applesauce. Enjoy!