Monday, December 19, 2011

Fritter Chronicles: Secular Latkes

As regular readers of GoodStuffNW know, contributor Jim Dixon of RealGoodFood is all about the fritters. He's made them from everything from corn to dandelion greens to farro to favas. Here's his take on that all-time Hanukkah classic, latkes.

I’m just a country goy, but I love latkes and Hanukkah starts this week. Whether you celebrate anything at all this time of year, these eastern European potato fritters make winter delicious. And the oil in the miracle of the oil that Hanukkah celebrates was, of course, olive oil. (Bonus spelling trivia: Chanuka vs Hanukkah.)

Instead of copying my favorite latke recipes here, you can go to my secular latke page and find links for basic potato lakes (below), my Tex-Mex version and the super treyf sweet potato bacon latkes. Oy!

Basic Potato Latkes

Grate a couple of russet potatoes into a large mixing bowl. Grab a handful of the grated spuds and squeeze them over the sink, getting as much moisture out as you can. Repeat until you’ve squeezed the whole bowl.

Add an egg, a couple of tablespoons of flour (I use flour; tradition says matzoh meal, but I don’t usually have any when I feel like making latkes), a good pinch of sea salt and a finely chopped medium onion. Cover the bottom of a heavy skillet with a slick of extra virgin olive oil, and heat it over medium until it just starts to shimmer. Carefully add large spoonfuls of the latke mix to the hot oil, gently flatttening as you go. Keep the latkes small, about 2 inches across max.

Cook until brown (3-4 minutes), carefully flip, and brown the other side. I like mine with ketchup.


pdxknitterati/MicheleLB said...

Mmmm, latkes. Happy Hanukkah! (and the idea of super treyf sweet potato bacon latkes makes me giggle.)

Kathleen Bauer said...

Happy Hanukkah to you! And I agree about the super treyf…could be a new super hero!

tom | tall clover farm said...

After discovering latkes recently, I realized the worst latke is better than the best hash brown. Frying some up this weekend, latkes that is!

Kathleen Bauer said...

If you want to share your recipe, Tom, I'd love to try it…you can never have too many latke recipes!

Anonymous said...

I noted your LATKE recipe called for chopped onions. I used to chop ‘em too til my Aunt Ruth took me under her wing as her sous chef and insisted I grate them. Turns out I like the texture better and the latkes fry up faster. Here are a couple other things Aunt Ruth taught me about latkes:
- heap the grated stuff right into a kitchen towel placed in a big sieve. Makes it easier to squeeze out the liquid.
- use peanut oil for frying. It gets a lot hotter than olive oil w/out burning. (Per Aunt Ruth, “sure peanut oil’s not as healthy as olive oil, Dollface, but after all is said and done, the difference is like an inch off the top of Mt. Hood.”)
- to avoid having your house smell like oil for weeks after Chanukkah, fry the latkes using a 2-burner Coleman stove on the front porch. I had a boat load of neighbors “drop by” and volunteer as tasters while I made 10 dozen.
- The benefit of getting latkes made before the holiday (I freeze ‘em on cookie sheets before boxing them up) is that you can reheat them in a 400 degree oven before serving. ‘Course I like my latkes hot and & slightly crispy.

Kathleen Bauer said...

Awesome advice, anon. Wish I'd had an Aunt Ruth to give me cooking advice…and call me Dollface!