rosefox: A bearded man in a yarmulke shouting L'CHAIM! (Judaism)
[personal profile] rosefox
Note: For onion-free latkes, replace the half-onion with 1 whole additional potato, increase the salt to 0.375 tsp, and consider adding a bit of some other savory flavoring or herb.

Note: If you absolutely must make latkes ahead of time, keep them at room temperature and do not put them in an airtight container; they will last up to four hours this way, and can be reheated in the oven at 375F for about 5 minutes until warmed through and crisp. They're always best fresh from the pan, though.

Note: Take appropriate precautions when frying with hot oil.

Note: If you don't have a thermometer that can accurately measure the temperature of hot oil, wait about 5 minutes for the oil to heat and then do a single small test latke. The oil is hot enough if a) it doesn't take more than 6 or 7 minutes total for the latke to get medium brown on both sides and b) when the latke is removed, any remaining oil on it easily drains off, leaving a crisp non-greasy exterior. If the latke is greasy, your oil isn't hot enough.

Ingredients

3 large Idaho/baking potatoes
Half of 1 small sweet onion
0.5 c all-purpose flour or matzo meal
0.25 tsp salt
1 pinch nutmeg
2 eggs
16 oz canola oil
Applesauce
Sour cream

Equipment

Oven (NOT toaster oven)
Stove (1 burner)
Vegetable peeler
Mixing bowls
Strainer
Cutting board
Sharp knife
Small pot with lid
Potato masher
Food processor with shredding and chopping blades
Large spoon or scoop
Large skillet (NOT Teflon-coated)
High-temp-safe wood or silicone flipper-type spatula
Candy/deep-fry thermometer (optional)
Large plate
Paper towels
Baking sheet
Aluminum foil

Instructions

0) Mise en place. Gather your ingredients and tools. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil and put it in the oven. Line the large plate with a double layer of paper towel. Whisk the eggs together. Combine the flour, salt, and nutmeg. Peel and rinse the potatoes. Peel and halve the onion.

1) Boil one potato. Cut one of the potatoes into fairly small, even pieces. Put them in the pot, cover them with cold water, put the lid on the pot, and set it over high heat. When it boils, reduce the heat as needed to keep it boiling without boiling over. When the potato pieces are very thoroughly cooked (about 15 minutes after they start boiling), drain them and mash them.

2) Process other potatoes and onion. Place the strainer over a bowl. Cut the other potatoes into quarters. Cut the half-onion in half. Shred the potatoes and onion in the food processor with the shredding blade. Remove them to the strainer and mix them thoroughly. Refit the food processor with the chopping blade and process about one third of the potato/onion mixture until it's very finely chopped. Mix that back into the shreds and squeeze them with bare hands or a very clean kitchen towel to remove as much of the liquid as possible. Leave them in the strainer to drain. They may discolor slightly; this is fine. Watch out for liquid leaks from the food processor.

3) Make latke batter. Place the skillet on the largest/hottest available burner and fill it to about 0.5" depth with canola oil. Heat over high heat until the oil reaches 350F (takes 3 to 5 minutes depending on your stove); reduce heat slightly. Meanwhile, move the potato/onion mixture to a bowl and mix in the mashed potato. Add the flour mixture and mix well. Add the eggs and mix well.

4) Fry latkes. Scoop batter into oil--careful, it may splatter. Flatten the scoops with the back of the flipper or with a fork. Fry until light brown on first side, about 2 minutes; flip and fry until medium brown on second side, about 2.5 minutes; flip again and fry until medium brown on first side, about 0.5 minutes. (The first batches can be a little underdone because they'll finish cooking in the oven.) Remove them to the plate and drain briefly on paper towels. (If your oil is sufficiently hot, they should almost immediately appear dry. If they're greasy, heat the oil more before doing the next batch.) Transfer them to the baking sheet in the oven. Continue, replacing the paper towels and adjusting the heat under the oil as needed, until all the batter has been used up.

5) Serve. Latkes should be eaten immediately with sour cream and/or applesauce. Ketchup is also permitted. There's no point in storing leftover latkes; they will get soggy and sad.

Sources:
http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/killer-potato-latkes
http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2006/12/karinas-latkes-and-applesauce.html
http://www.glutenfreecanteen.com/2011/12/03/hanukkah-collection-mini-red-potato-latkes-gluten-free/

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