Smitten Kitchen’s Perfect Potato Latkes

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Hanukkah begins this weekend, and as a nod to my family’s heritage I like celebrate by cooking up a batch of classic potato latkes! In a hunt for a simple but delicious recipe I tested Smitten Kitchen’s last year and it is indeed perfect. No need to try any others! This recipe will yield you about 20 small latkes, so feel free to double or triple the recipe if needed.

I have the original link to the recipe here: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/12/potato-pancakes-even-better/, and have added my own notes to the ingredients, and detailed my personal directions/hints below. Thanks Smitten Kitchen for the great recipe which is now a family favourite in my house!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large baking (russet) potato (1 lb), peeled and chopped in half if putting through the food processor
  • 1 small cooking (yellow) onion (4 oz), peeled and chopped in half in putting through the food processor
  • 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, whisked (preferably free range – they just taste better!)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher (coarse) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • Canola oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Coarsely shred the potato and onion in a food processor with the grating attachment (this is so much easier and quicker than a box grater and makes beautiful strands of potato – but you can use a grater if you do not have a food processor).
  2. Transfer shredded potato and onion to a fine mesh sieve and push out as much water as you can. Let sit for a few minutes, then try and push out more water.
  3. Place squeezed shredded potato and onion in a large bowl and add the flour, egg, salt and pepper and stir lightly with a fork to combine until all is incorporated evenly.
  4. In a large 12″ skillet heat 2 tablespoons of oil until “shimmering” and ready to try (sometimes I drop a tiny piece of the mixture in to see if its ready).
  5. Using a small cookie scoop (very handy) or spoon, drop small (approx 2 tsp) scoopfuls of the latke mixture into the oil and fry for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes then flip for another 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until golden.
  6. As soon as golden and cooked through remove to a paper towel lined baking sheet or plate that will absorb the excess oil.
  7. Repeat with remaining latke mixutre and note that you may need to add some more canola oil for frying as you go.
  8. You can keep the latkes warm on a baking sheet in the oven or toaster oven, however these really taste great at room temperature as well and they cook up really fast.
  9. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or applesauce.
  10. Note: These also freeze amazingly (just flash freeze in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet), pop into a ziploc and you have latke’s ready to reheat in the oven! It works really well and they crisp back up beautifully.

Be sure to visit Smitten Kitchen’s blog & check out her cookbook which I own (and is fantastic!).

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