Saturday, November 30, 2013

Potato Latkes

It's been a very nice Thanksgiving, spending cherished time with friends and family. Sean was home from Iowa State and and he, Patrick and I got to enjoy the launch of the next generation gaming consoles. The last time that happened was 2005...Sean was just 10 and Patrick was 8. The new Xbox One is astounding in both it's capabilities and gameplay. Sean and I are playing Call of Duty: Ghosts and Patrick is reveling in Madden and Dead Rising 3.

Sean loves college, but complains considerably about the food. So while he's home, I try and fill him up with all kinds of comfort food. When it comes to comfort food, it doesn't get a whole lot better than potato pancakes. Potato Latkes are super crispy on the outside but soft and moist on the outside.

Now if you want to save some time, or if you don't own a food processor, there's a real easy shortcut to making latkes. Simply buy yourself a couple bags of "Simply Potato Shredded Hash Browns". A bag is only 1 pound, 4 ounces and since you need 2 pounds, you'll need to borrow 12 ounces from bag 2. But it makes this recipe a breeze as it saves considerable time and labor.

2 pounds russet potatoes
1 small yellow onion
3 tablespoons matzo meal
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as chives or parsley, for garnish

  1. Peel the potatoes and shred them in a food processor fitted with the shredding blade; transfer the potatoes to a large bowl as the food processor fills up. Repeat with the onion. Transfer the onion to the bowl with the potatoes and stir in the matzo meal, egg, baking powder and salt. 
  2. Fill a large skillet with 1/2 inch oil. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil is very hot but not smoking. To test if the oil is hot enough, drop a small piece of potato into the oil; if the potato sizzles steadily, the oil is ready. 
  3. Working in batches, scoop the potato mixture by 1/4-cupfuls and add them carefully to the skillet, flattening each latke slightly with a spatula. Fry, turning the latkes once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Remove any loose bits of potato mixture between batches with a slotted spoon. 
  4. Serve the latkes immediately, or keep them warm in a 200ยบ oven. Garnish with fresh herbs.

Wine pairing: I usually serve potato latkes with grilled pork chops, so my wine of choice would be a nice Syrah or Merlot.

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