2 1/2 pounds Idaho, russet, or baking potatoes (about 4 large), scrubbed
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons matzoh meal (or breadcrumbs, or flour)
1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for frying
The other day I was daydreaming about Zaftig's, a Jewish deli and local fave in Boston (definitely in my top 10 restaurants ever). On any given Saturday the wait for a table would be at least an hour, but it was always worth it. I would load up on their bagel chips and cream cheese, before I even put in my order for an omelet or turkey on rye with cole slaw. But on that particular day I was thinking about their latkes! Since, it also happens to be Hanukkah, I felt it was appropriate to dedicate my weekend project to potato pancakes. I did a lot of research on different recipes, but this one I adopted from CHOW recipes, seemed pretty simple.
Using the medium-coarse shredding disk of a food processor, shred the potatoes and onion together. You can also use a box grater, but the food processor is a huge time saver. Transfer mixture to a large colander set over a bowl. Using both your hands, squeeze the potato mixture vigorously. Squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the potatoes (the more moisture you get out, the better), then let mixture stand for a minute or two. Pour off the watery brown liquid in the bowl, but save the layer of pale beige paste (potato starch) at the bottom. With a large spoon mix the paste in the potato-onion mixture. Mix in eggs, matzoh meal, 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt, and a good amount of freshly ground pepper with your hands until it is evenly incorporated. Use more matzoh meal if mixture is too wet.
Heat enough oil (pour about 1/4-1/2 inch) in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, until a shred of potato mixture instantly sizzles when dropped in. Then spoon potato mixture into the oil, making sure not to crowd the pan. Flatten each spoonful into a flat disk with the back of the spatula. Fry until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes, then flip over and continue cooking until both sides are well browned, about 8 to 10 minutes for each batch. (You may need to add additional oil to fry subsequent batches.) Transfer latkes to the paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Blot any excess oil with additional towels. Serve immediately with sour cream and applesauce, and you will be in potato pancake heaven.
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- The Hungry Yuppie
- The Hungry Yuppies, Annie and Rich, are a young couple from CT who are self-proclaimed foodies. Annie is the chef, and Rich is her willing taste tester. Juggling a full time job in the city wasn't going to get in the way of Annie's love for cooking. It's about eating well whether you have just 30 minutes on a Monday night, or all day on a rainy Sunday.