(c) A Marcy Goldman, BetterBaking.Com Original Recipe
New Way Famous Potato Latkes
From the new chapter in my cookbook, The 10th Anniversary Edition of A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking, my world famous potato pancakes or latkes. Can you improve on tradition? Yes! So, how does a baker cook up the best latkes? Simply put, bakers are the smartest folks I know. How do you describe these exceptional potato pancakes? Perfection. You barely parboil the potatoes according to the special, precise method. Then grate them and fry up the lightest, crispiest and fastest potato pancakes you ever had. Once you make them this way, you will never go back to the classic, bubbie style which calls for raw potatoes.....unless you need a break from paradise. If you thought my world famous Matzoh Buttercrunch was good, you ain't tasted nuttin' yet. These fry up triple quick, they are crisp, lighter, (not heavy), far less work, the batter also lasts three days (without turning black and watery). Not one person who has made these has ever returned to the tried and true - even the households that threaten a latke strike if 'new' potato pancakes ever were tried. Don't forget to check out Getting Rid of Oil from Latke Fryingpotatoes.
5 or 6 medium to large red-skinned potatoes un-peeled (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds)
1 small to medium onion, finely grated
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper or to taste
Vegetable oil for frying
The best way to fry these are in tiny dollops, dropped from a spoon (or I use metal kitchen tongs and pick up small clumps of batter) and use a deep wok. the cooking method is so important so follow the directions exactly for perfect results.
Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and just cover with cold water. Turn heat to high and allow to come to boil. As soon as potatoes are boiling, put a kitchen timer on for 10 minutes. When timer rings, remove potatoes from stove and cover with cold water. Drain immediately, then cover again with cold water. Let sit five minutes. Remove potatoes and pat dry. (This is the most important part -you want the potatoe barely par-boiled so they are almost still raw but not quite. If you cook them too much you will end up frying mashed potato shreds)
Using a hand shredder (best) or food processor fitted with a medium disc, shred potatoes (with skins on). The potatoes should be slightly softened, but still firm enough to produce distinct shreds. If the peel separates from the potato, discard it. If the peel gets grated in with the potatoes, it's fine and just incorporate it into the mixture. I like the hand grater best because it results in a mixture than is bulky but still has obvious potato shreds (which will be the crisp part later on)
In a large bowl, blend shredded potatoes, grated onion, eggs, flour, salt, and pepper. Place newspaper on work surface (near frying area) and cover with a few paper towels.
In a large deep skillet (I like to use a wok), pour in enough vegetable oil to fill about two thirds. If using an electric fry pan, set the temperature to 350 F. or 375 F. (depending on how fast you want the pancakes to cook). Drop potato batter by teaspoons (for small ones) or soup spoonfuls in smal dollops, flattening slightly with a metal spatula if desired. I use large metal tongs for dropping and turning. Brown one side, turn once, and complete cooking on other side. These cook quickly. You're looking for a puffy centre while retaining some crisp shreds of potato on edges.
Serve immediately or freeze. To reheat, place latkes on a large wire cake rack on a cookie sheet. Warm at 250 F. until crisp. For freezing purposes, fry them a little underdone to allow for browning in the re-heating stage.
Tips: Kids seem to protest onions so for them, I tend to omit the onions and use 1 teaspoon onion powder in the the batter.
SMALLER is better. You want tender, little morsels with crisp edges.
TONGS are best for both picking up the batter and dropping it in the oil and taking the latkes out.
© This is a Marcy Goldman/BetterBaking.com original recipe
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