I know, I know! It’s February, what am I doing writing a post about latkes! No, I am not yearning for the fried foods of Chanukah, this post is for my friend Lyndele, who was unsatisfied with her first attempt at latkes, but as she is an excellent cook herself I suspect she may just be being too hard on herself. But it does sound like a great opportunity for a latkes and movie night soon! In the meantime…
I sadly did not learn to make latkes from family or community members, I learned from the internet. Lucky for me there are some superb online resources, and my husband was of great assistance in grating potatoes, puree onion, letting me know when the latkes looked right, and of course taste testing!
After reading through many terrific latkes recipes and viewing a plethora of videos on the process, I found this base recipe by Jonathan Abbet of Kosher Blog worked every time for me: Potato Latke Master Recipe. As I had also not experimented with frying in oil like this I felt I also needed to see the process in action. This video was of great help to me.
There seems to be some debate as to type of potatoes to use and whether and how to wash and drain them after grating. I have used whatever potatoes I have on hand each time I made these with success. I have tried both not washing of draining the potatoes after grating, and washing and draining in a wound up dish towel to press the moisture out. I have found both methods met with good results, the former seemed to produce a denser latke, the latter a slightly less dense, but they both tasted the same and were the same colour after frying, so it really seems to hinge on personal preference in the end.
I like to serve these with a simple apple sauce that is not overly sweet. I use Elana of Elana’s Pantry recipe: How To Make Applesauce (I add a little honey if I am serving people who prefer sweeter applesauce). I peel, core and slice enough apples (I like to use several different types of apples together) to fill a couple of medium-sized baking dishes. I stick 2 sticks of cinnamon into each bowl and add 1-2 tbsp to honey to each dish depending on how sweet I wish it to be. I then bake covered at 350 for 1 1/2 hours and mash them up as Elana describes. Elana also has a lot of wonderful recipes and I have found her to be an excellent resource, so definitely take a look at her recipes!