Potato pancakes—beloved of many cultures—are especially associated with the Jewish Hanukkah table. But no matter who’s frying them, you’ll see a basic dichotomy in styles: thick, heavy ones vs. thin, light, crispy ones. I prefer the latter latkes, and find the pancakes from the following recipe to be positively lacy. A classic deli way to serve them is with applesauce as a first course, but I think latkes have no higher calling in life than as a pot roast side dish with a good brown gravy.
Extra-Crispy Potato Latkes
Yields: 12 potato pancakes
2 1/4 lbs. Idaho potatoes, peeled and grated
1 small yellow onion, peeled and grated
1 egg, beaten
6 tablespoons matzoh meal
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
vegetable oil for frying
1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, except for the oil, and mix until well combined.
2. Transfer the mixture to a colander and place the colander in the sink or a large bowl. Press down on the mixture to extract as much liquid as possible. Using your hands, form the mixture into golf ball-sized balls, squeezing out any excess moisture.
3. On a work surface, lay out a strip of plastic wrap. Lay the potato balls on the plastic wrap, keeping them spaced apart. Using a perforated spatula, press down firmly on each ball to flatten it and press out any excess moisture. The pancakes should be thin and flat.
4. Pour the vegetable oil into a large skillet over medium-high heat, until it’s about 1/8″ deep. Working in small batches, transfer the flattened potato balls to the skillet, making sure they don’t touch each other. Cook, turning once, until the latkes are browned and crispy, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt. Continue until all 12 are cooked. Serve immediately.
Note: Crazy Last-Minute Opportunity from Tasting Table to Sample Lotsa Latkes
Get in the Hanukah spirit, with the fourth Annual Latke Festival. At the Love Those Latkes event top restaurants such as A Voce, Balaboosta, Veselka and more will hawk their best latkes at the Fourth-Annual Latke Fest hosted by Edible Brooklyn (click here to purchase). Come out to help judge, or submit your own top latke recipe to firstname.lastname@example.org in advance for a chance to compete. One lucky Tasting Table reader will win a pair of tickets; click here to follow Tasting Table on Twitter for a chance to win. December 10 @ 6:30 pm, BAM, 30 Lafayette Ave. (at St. Felix St.), Brooklyn; 718-636-4100 or greatperformances.com/