classic potato pancakes

Categories
Pancakes
Yield
4 Servings
MeasureIngredient
  Stephen Ceideburg
2 pounds Mealy russet potatoes, peeled
1 medium Onion, coarsely grated
Eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons Matzo meal, or as needed
  Salt to taste
  Pepper
1 dash Sugar to encourage browning
  Vegetable oil for frying
  Sour cream, yogurt, and/or applesauce

Grate potatoes.

Squeeze to remove as much moisture as possible.

Combine potatoes, onion, eggs, matzo meal, salt, pepper and sugar.

Take half of this mixture and puree in a food processor or blender, then recombine it with the remaining mixture.

Add more matzo meal if needed to make a thick batter.

Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan.

You will probably get by on a slick about ⅛ inch deep, especially in a nonstick pan, but the deeper and hotter the oil the crisper the pancake.

Use a large spoon to drop portions of the mixture into the hot oil.

For thicker pancakes leave the batter mounded up high, for thinner, lacier and crispier-edged disks, flatten the batter with a spoon as soon as you add it to the pan.

Cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes, then turn and repeat on the other side.

Latkes don't take kindly to being turned too man times and become rather heavy as the continue to flip.

When golden on both sides, remove to paper towels and drain for a moment before serving.

Accompany hot latkes with sour cream, yogurt and/or applesauce.

Sage latkes: Season with ½ teaspoon or so crumbled dry sage leaves (or 1 teaspoon fresh) and ¼ cup chopped parsley. Fry in duck or goose fat.

Garlic rosemary latkes: Omit onion and add 2 cloves chopped garlic along with 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary. Cook in olive oil and serve with a sprinkling of salt rather than sour cream.

Leek latkes: Omit onion and substitute julienned leeks.

Brussels sprouts: surprising and deliciously wintry. Add 6 or so coarsely grated Brussels sprouts to the potato batter. Serve with sour cream seasoned with a dash of Dijon or whole-seed mustard. Do not let Brussels sprout latkes sit around too long; they become bitter.

PER SERVING (Classic version, using a total of 2 tablespoons oil and not counting accompaniments): 260 calories, 8 g protein, 37 g carbohydrate, 10 g fat (2 g saturated), 105 mg cholesterol, 45 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.

Marlena Spieler writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, 12/16/92.

Posted by Stephen Ceideburg

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