Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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Latke Follow-Up for Traditionalists

January 3rd, 2009 · No Comments

Sandie Cohen

After reading about the unusual latkes that take top honors at the Morse Geriatric Center Latke Cook-off, one of my readers, Sandie Cohen of Hollywood, FL, wrote to say hers are the very best “traditional” latkes around.

She shared her recipe for these crispy potato pancakes, and tips for making them. Jan’s note: Don’t make substitutions until after you try these as written.

Here you go:
Grandie’s Latkes

  • 6 medium potatoes
    1 medium yellow onion
    2 eggs – see notes
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 to 1/2 cup matzo meal
    Peanut oil for frying — see notes
  • For serving: sour cream or applesauce

Peel and grate the potatoes. Squeeze out all liquid and place grated potatoes in large mixing bowl.
Grate the onion and combine with the potatoes. Combine the eggs and salt and stir into potato mixture.
Add 1/4 cup matzo meal and stir all ingredients together until the mixture is blended and smooth.
(Add more matzo meal if needed.) The mixture is perfect if it is thick… but still pourable.

Heat peanut oil to a depth of 1/8-inch in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Drop a full, heaping tablespoon of the batter into the oil, flatten into a pancake (approximately 1/4-inch thick), and fry until the edges are slightly golden brown. Flip the latke with a slotted spatula and brown the other side.
Lift the fully cooked latke out of the pan and drain well on paper towels or brown paper. Repeat with remainder of batter, replenishing oil as needed in pan and adjusting temperature so pancakes do not burn.
Allow latkes to cool slightly before serving.
Serve with applesauce or sour cream. “We prefer the storebought organic applesauce or a homemade variety,” Cohen writes.

Notes: The latke batter can be made in a food processor with excellent results.
The latkes are best eaten when they are almost too hot to eat and fresh out of the fry pan! However, they can be made earlier in the day or the day prior, refrigerated, and reheated — place on cookie sheet, uncovered, and heat in a 375 oven to re-crisp.
For those who are cholesterol conscious, 4 egg whites can be substituted for the 2 whole eggs.
Peanut oil is the preferred oil, as it adds a unique flavor to the latkes and it can be brought to a very high frying temperature without burning.
A cast iron skillet is the secret tool for a sensational result.

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