What's a Hannukah dinner without latkes? Exactly! While it's a little bit tricky to serve them all at once, and chances are you'll be cooking them as people are eating them (nothing like a fresh, hot, lacy-crisp latke in your hand!), you'll get rave reviews and demands for seconds, and maybe thirds. You might as well just double the recipe!
These latkes are impossibly crispy, thanks to the genius tip from Martha Stewart: you soak the potatoes in ice water (to prevent discoloration and to get the starch to solidify on the bottom of the bowl) and then squeeze and drain the grated potato. You keep the water in which potatoes were soaking and allow it to rest of 10 minutes, letting the starch settle at the bottom. Then, after carefully pouring out the water, you're left with starch, which you then add to the potatoes. So, potatoes, minus liquid, plus starch (decreasing the amount of water, while upping the starch content) equals a crispy, crispy latke!
I decided to add a bit of pumpkin to this version and am glad I did. The latke gives up none of the crispiness, but gains a creamier, more delicate texture on the inside, not to mention, a fall-like taste. It's goes perfectly with the maple vanilla apple sauce featured here as well.
About the author: Olga Massov writes a popular blog Sassy Radish where she shares food stories and spruced-up comfort foods. Her Russian heritage makes sure she always has room for herring.
- 2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and grated on large holes of box grater, soaked in ice water
- 1/2 (14 oz) can canned pumpkin
- 1 small white onion, grated on medium holes of box grater
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil
Transfer potatoes to large bowl lined with a clean kitchen towel and gently squeeze dry. Reserve potato soaking liquid.
Set reserved liquid aside for 10 minutes to allow starch to sink to the bottom. Carefully pour liquid from bowl, reserving starch, and discard. Transfer potatoes back to bowl with starch. Add onions and pumpkin. Stir in eggs, flour, salt, and pepper.
Line rimmed baking sheet with paper towels; set aside. In heavy-bottomed 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1/4-inch of vegetable oil. Spoon scant 1/2 cup of potato mixture per pancake into skillet, working in batches and taking care not to crowd the skillet.
Fry on both sides until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to prepared baking sheet to drain; transfer to oven to keep warm. Repeat process with remaining potato mixture. Serve hot with maple vanilla apple sauce.