Traditional or Non-traditional, latke is a wonderful accompaniment to any meal.
Done well, it can be the meal itself and in our home, often is: traditional @ breakfast with eggs, applesauce and sour cream. While potato latke is that with which we all are most familiar, there is no law that says they must be made from potatoes. Potatoes are simply economical and readily available. At our house we’ve enjoyed mixed summer squash latke in the summer with grilled chicken and fresh tomato slice salads. We’ve enjoyed sweet potato latke at Thanksgiving rather than the traditional sweet potato dishes.
When our winter gardens have bountifully supplied cruciferous items (broccoli, cauliflower, greens, turnips, cabbage, etc) we have made latke of them to have with all sorts of soups and stews. My mother made latke from cheeses. So, needless to say, latke itself is an essential addition to our culinary pleasure.
We’ve posted the “quick” tricks from our BAPantryGourmet.com kitchen but this recipe is all about the traditional potato latke. The secret to great potato latkes is starch: the starchier the potato, the crisper the latke.
What kind of potato is best?” We tested all kinds of varieties and found that baking potatoes seem the starchiest while Golds and boiling potatoes seem the least starchy. Flavor-wise, all were delicious.
The Recipe Serves 8
- 1 pound potatoes
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons potato starch (all purpose flour may be substituted)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 + 1/4 cup olive oil
Traditional sides for potato latke: sour cream and applesauce
- Preheat oven to 250°F.
- Peel potatoes and coarsely grate (I prefer) by hand, transferring to a large bowl of cold water as grated. Soak potatoes 1 to 2 minutes after last batch is added to water, then drain well in a colander.
- Spread grated potatoes and onion in a thin layer on a kitchen towel and roll ( jelly-roll style). Tightly wring out as much liquid as possible. Transfer potato mixture to a bowl and stir in egg and salt. Mix well.
- Drizzle and toss with 1/2 cup olive oil until potatoes are evenly coated.
- Add starch (flour) and mix well.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet until hot but not smoking.
- Fry in batches of 4 latkes: spoon 2 tablespoons potato mixture per latke into skillet, spreading into 3-inch rounds with a fork.
- Reduce heat to medium and cook until skillet-sided latke are browned, about 5 minutes. Flip latkes to brown undersides, about 5 minutes more.
- Transfer to paper towels to drain and season with salt. Add more oil to skillet as needed, a tablespoon at a time.
Other Important Info
Grated potatoes, soaked briefly in water, then squeezed to remove liquid slows cooking and keeps outside from browning too quickly to allow the latke to cook uniformly .
Latkes may be made ahead (up to 8 hours). Reheat on a rack set over a preheated baking sheet in a 350°F oven, about 5 minutes.
Recipe is easily doubled.