do u latke?
As Hanukkah comes around the corner, I’ve gotten excited about seeing packages of matzo meal pop up in grocery aisles and my mouth instantly starts craving applesauce and latkes. Now, my grandmother is nowhere near Jewish, but I do remember her getting me hooked on the little cakes back when I was little. In college, one of my culinary-gifted sorority sisters brought back latke’s from her holiday celebration just for me to feast upon in the house one morning. Every now and then I purchase a package of the pre-made ones from Trader Joe’s for dinner… but they’re still not the best.
Gweneth P had a delicious recipe for potato-apple latkes in her issue of GOOP this week (if you don’t subscribe already… run and do it!). I’ve included it below, and if I can get over my fear of oil frying… I might just whip these out next week…
POTATO AND APPLE LATKES WITH SMOKED SALMON
apple with the standard potato lends a welcome sweetness and roundness
to these latkes. They’re fun and festive to serve with sour cream and
smoked salmon, but just sour cream is fine too, or even a bit of
applesauce on the side. Or you can simply serve them unadorned.
SERVES: 4 (makes a dozen latkes)
TIME: 20 minutes
the grated potato and apple in a bowl of cold water and swish them
around. This will get some of the starch out, which helps get your
latkes crispy. Drain the potato and apple and squeeze out as much
moisture as you can with your hands (or wrap in a clean tea towel and
wring dry). Again, crisp is the goal.
Mix everything but the
olive oil together in a large mixing bowl. Add a bit more matzo meal if
the mixture is very loose (it shouldn’t be if your vegetables are nice
and dry). Form the latkes into whatever size you prefer – I like to
pinch off large tablespoons of the mixture and flatten them into thin
pancakes using my fingertips.
Heat the olive oil in a large
nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Fry the latkes in batches (don’t
overcrowd the pan), about a minute or two on each side or until browned
and crisp. Regulate the heat while frying – you want the pan to be hot
enough to brown the latkes quickly, but not smoking. Drain the latkes
on paper towels, sprinkle with a bit more salt, dollop with sour cream
and drape a little slice of smoked salmon over each. Serve immediately.
(from your little, Jewish lurker) look in the kosher section of your grocery store, which is often in the same isle as the asian and hispanic foods. the “homestyle” mixes are usually pretty good, but be keep an eye out for MSG and super high sodium.
Regarding your fear of frying in oil…. frying latkes is not like deep frying in oil at all… you really only need about 2 tablespoons of oil in the bottom of a large frying pan, just enough to coat the bottom and sizzle. I’m having our big annual Chrismukkah party this weekend, so I fried up 6 dozen latkes last weekend and froze them… it’s really a piece of cake once you get started.