Potato Latkes*

Talk about a dish that evokes powerful memories.  Latkes (potato pancakes) bring it on strong! I can still smell my mom’s latkes cooking and remember clearly how there would hardly be any left by the time the plate of latkes made it to the table! This ranks in my top three of Jewish dishes , right up there with homemade challah and chicken soup with matzah balls.

I am a purest when it comes to latkes, which means I favor the original.  No fancy sweet potato or leek and zucchini latkes for me on Chanukah, only the real thing! These latkes are exceptionally light and crispy; do not skip the important step of beating the egg whites separately as this will make your latkes have a phenomenal texture and crunch. For a dairy or parve meal, serve with organic applesauce and sour cream;  for a meat meal, serve with organic apple sauce.  If you have experienced grayish- blackened potato latkes, have no fear. This technique eliminates that ugly issue.  Using a food processor will even further help to prevent this from happening. You can easily double this recipe for a bigger batch.  Scroll to bottom of post for the printable version.

  • 1 pound  (about 3 large) Idaho or russet potatoes, preferably organic
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped or grated onion
  • 2 omega 3, free range eggs, separated, room temperature
  • ½-3/4 teaspoons of kosher or sea salt
  • four turns of freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1-2 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour, as needed
  • up to 1 cup grapeseed, canola or olive oil (use in 1/3 cup increments as needed)

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Peel potatoes and coarsely grate by hand or in a food processor, transferring to a mesh strainer/sieve, rinsing the grated potatoes well with cool water until the water runs clear. Thoroughly drain the water by pressing on the potatoes. Wrap and roll the grated potatoes and onion in a kitchen or paper towel and dry thoroughly. Press tightly to remove as much water/juice as possible.

Transfer potato mixture to a bowl and stir in egg yolks, salt, pepper and baking powder.

In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until soft/stiff peaks have formed. Gradually fold into the egg yolk/potato mixture, adding flour as needed if the mixture has too much liquid.


Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking. Working in batches of 4-5 latkes, spoon 2 tablespoons of potato mixture per latke into the pan, spreading gently with a fork. Reduce heat to medium and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Turn latkes over and cook until the other side is golden, about 3-5 minutes more. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Season the latkes with salt, if needed.

Add more oil to pan as needed to cook the remaining latkes. Keep latkes warm on a wire rack set in a shallow baking pan in a pre-heated oven or in a warming drawer.

*Parve; non-dairy

Serves about 4-6

Potato Latkes*
 
Talk about a dish that evokes powerful memories. Latkes (potato pancakes) bring it on strong! I can still smell my mom’s latkes cooking and remember clearly how there would hardly be any left by the time the plate of latkes made it to the table! This ranks in my top three of Jewish dishes , right up there with homemade challah and chicken soup with matzah balls.
Author:
Recipe type: Shabbat & Holiday, Vegetables & Salads
Cuisine: Parve; non-dairy
Serves: Serves 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 pound (about 3 large) Idaho or russet potatoes, preferably organic
  • ½ cup finely chopped or grated onion
  • 2 omega 3, free range eggs, separated, room temperature
  • ½-3/4 teaspoons of kosher or sea salt
  • four turns of freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1-2 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour, as needed
  • up to 1 cup grapeseed, canola or olive oil (use in ⅓ cup increments as needed)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. Peel potatoes and coarsely grate by hand or in a food processor, transferring to a mesh strainer/sieve, rinsing the grated potatoes well with cool water until the water runs clear. Thoroughly drain the water by pressing on the potatoes. Wrap and roll the grated potatoes and onion in a kitchen or paper towel and dry thoroughly. Press tightly to remove as much water/juice as possible.
  3. Transfer potato mixture to a bowl and stir in egg yolks, salt, pepper and baking powder.
  4. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until soft/stiff peaks have formed. Gradually fold into the egg yolk/potato mixture, adding flour as needed if the mixture has too much liquid.
  5. Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking. Working in batches of 4-5 latkes, spoon 2 tablespoons of potato mixture per latke into the pan, spreading gently with a fork. Reduce heat to medium and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Turn latkes over and cook until the other side is golden, about 3-5 minutes more. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Season the latkes with salt, if needed.
  6. Add more oil to pan as needed to cook the remaining latkes. Keep latkes warm on a wire rack set in a shallow baking pan in a pre-heated oven or in a warming drawer.

 

Talk about a dish that evokes powerful memories.  Latkes (potato pancakes) bring it on strong! I can still smell my mom’s latkes cooking and remember clearly how there would hardly be any left by the time the plate of latkes made it to the table! This ranks in my top three of Jewish dishes , right up there with homemade challah and chicken soup with matzah balls. I am a purest when it comes to latkes, which means I favor the original.  No fancy sweet potato or leek and zucchini latkes for me on Chanukah, only the real thing! These latkes are exceptionally light and crispy; do not skip the important step of beating the egg whites separately as this will make your latkes have a phenomenal texture and crunch. For a dairy or parve meal, serve with organic applesauce and sour cream;  for a meat meal, serve with organic apple sauce.  If you have experienced grayish- blackened potato latkes, have no fear. This technique eliminates that ugly issue.  Using a food processor will even further help to prevent this from happening. You can easily double this recipe for a bigger batch.

Comments

  1. Limor Amiel says

    This is the best recipe ever. The latkes are crispy and yummy.The kids loved it. They kept asking for more. Thank you!

  2. Aunt Selma says

    Can’t wait to make this. If I can’t be with you at least I can enjoy your cooking. Love you

  3. Judy Rubin says

    Dear Karen,

    Thanks for all the great recipes. I can’t wait to try the TLT sandwich–I too have long missed my BLTs! I have a culinary challenge for you. My family’s favorite chanukah treat has always been my zucchini latkes, which I base on the Spice and Spirit recipe, except with less onion and lots of dill weed. I tried to make it en mass for last week’s Chanukah party, but it was a disaster. I got blobs of mush, no matter how long or at what temperature I cooked them, and I had to throw out 25 eggs and 15 large, grated zucchinis. I’ve doubled or even tripled the recipe before with good results, but last week I had to multiply it times 5. I think what happened is that the sheer weight of the zucchini pressed out so much liquid that it diluted the eggs and flour to the point of extinction. I was cooking on Friday, and with 20 minutes to go before candle lighting and no usable latkes, I broke a few more eggs, added flour, and strained some zucchini and herbs from the bif bowl to mix in. These came out fine, just enough for my family, but not for the party. So my question to you is, how would you go about preparing this for a large crowd? Any ideas other than to mix up several separate batches? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Shabbat shalom,
    Judy

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