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 Perfect Potato Latkes

-from Sarah Rabinowitz

Hannukah wouldn't be Hannukah without potato latkes and though everyone thinks they make the BEST latkes the fact is that there isn't a whole lot of difference in the ingredients for this basic type. So the real secret is in how to get them crispy yet tender all the way through - and that means squeezing as much of the starchy liquid out of the raw potatoes as possible before frying them.

The line between hashbrowns and potato pancakes is so fine that it is endlessly debated, with no resolution as far as I can see. If you are not of the Jewish faith you might think these are just ordinary hashbrowns but you'd be wrong. First of all they aren't ordinary, they're spectacular and secondly they're Hannukah hashbrowns with a funny name, made with eggs and flour. So Happy Hannukah and have a latke on me!


INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 large Russet potatoes
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup flour

Canola or olive oil for frying

DIRECTIONS:

Grate potatoes (preferably by hand) into a large bowl filled with very cold water (this helps prevent potatoes from turning brown and it leeches out excess starch so they will be crispier when fried). Drain excess liquid in a sieve or colander, then place potatoes in a clean dish towel and squeeze as much more liquid as possible out of them by twisting the towel like a tournaquet until no more liquid comes out.

Place potatoes in a large bowl, sprinkle with flour and toss until well combined. Thoroughly mix in other ingredients (you can do this with your clean hands or use two large spoons to toss it all together).

Place about 3 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat. When the oil in the pan is shimmering, but not smoking, spoon 2 tablespoons potato mixture per latke into hot skillet, spreading into 3-inch rounds with a fork, and fry until golden brown on both sides. Drain and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

Add more oil as necessary, and always wait until it's hot before adding more potato mixture. Serve with applesauce or sour cream.

Makes enough to feed all the relatives.

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