Latkes are a far more common sight at Hanukkah than Passover, but there's no real reason why you can't fry up a batch in the springtime. If you use matzoh meal as a binder, as Jamie Geller suggests in her new cookbook, Joy of Kosher, the latkes will be safely kosher for Passover. And if you continue to follow her guidance and whip up a batch of puréed latkes, you'll have fried potato pancakes in no time. Made from a thick potato-y batter, these latkes are like a three-way cross between hash browns, fry bread, and blini. In other words, they are awesome.
Why I picked this recipe: I realize that latkes aren't exactly Passover food, but I was too curious about this puréed variation to pass it up.
What worked: These are, hands-down, the easiest and best latkes I've ever made. Plus the crème fraîche and caviar don't hurt.
What didn't: Nothing.
Suggested tweaks: To make the latkes Kosher for Passover, substitute matzoh meal for the cornmeal and olive oil for the canola oil. I served the latkes with salmon roe; you can use any caviar that fits in your budget and/or availability. (The latkes are also great without the caviar.) You can substitute sour cream for the crème frâiche.
Reprinted with permission from Joy of Kosher: Fast, Fresh Family Recipes by Jamie Geller. Copyright 2013. Published by William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- 4 large russet potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Canola oil, for frying (use olive or vegetable oil for Passover)
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 1/4 cup fine cornmeal or matzoh meal (use matzoh for Passover)
- 1 1/4 cups crème frâiche or sour cream
- Caviar, for garnish
Fill a large bowl with cold water. Peel the potatoes, cut them into quarters lengthwise, and place them in the bowl of cold water to prevent browning.
Combine the eggs, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; set aside.
Heat about 1 inch of the canola oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
Put the onion and potatoes in a food processor and pulse until puréed. Transfer the mixture to the large bowl with the eggs. Add the cornmeal and mix to combine.
Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop up the potato mixture and carefully drop it into the hot oil. Use the back of the measuring cup to flatten the latke. Fill the pan with as many latkes as you can, but do not let them touch. Do not overcrowd your pan, or the latkes will be soggy instead of crispy. Fry until golden brown and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Drain on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining batter.
To keep the latkes warm and crispy once fried, spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in a 200°F oven until ready to serve.
To serve, place the latkes on a large serving tray and garnish each with a generous tablespoon of crème frâiche and caviar.