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Mom’s Potato Latkes


  • Author: Chef Emy

Description

 

Mom’s Potato Latkes are a classic and comforting recipe that many of us have grown up loving. These crispy, golden pancakes made from grated potatoes and onions are a staple in many households, especially during Hanukkah, but beloved enough to enjoy year-round. The secret to the perfect latke lies in the simplicity of the ingredients and the love with which they are prepared. Here’s a traditional recipe to bring the warmth and nostalgia of Mom’s kitchen into your home:


Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of potatoes (Russet or Yukon Gold work well)

  • 1 medium onion

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or matzo meal for Passover)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • Oil for frying (vegetable or canola oil is preferred)


Instructions

1. Prepare the Potatoes and Onion:

  • Peel the potatoes and onion. Using a box grater or a food processor with a shredding blade, coarsely grate the potatoes and onion. To prevent browning, place the grated potatoes in cold water, then drain well. Squeeze out as much moisture as possible from the potatoes and onion using a cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel. This step is crucial for crispy latkes.

2. Make the Latke Mixture:

  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the drained potatoes and onion, flour (or matzo meal), salt, and pepper. Mix everything together until well combined. The mixture should be able to hold together without being too wet. If it feels too moist, you can add a little more flour or matzo meal.

3. Heat the Oil:

  • In a large skillet, heat a generous amount of oil over medium-high heat. The oil should be about a quarter-inch deep. It’s hot enough when a small piece of the mixture sizzles upon contact.

4. Fry the Latkes:

  • Form the potato mixture into pancakes, either with your hands or with a spoon, and carefully place them in the hot oil. Flatten them slightly with the back of the spoon or spatula. Don’t overcrowd the skillet; cook the latkes in batches.

  • Fry until the edges are crispy and browned, about 3-5 minutes per side, depending on the size. Adjust the heat as necessary to prevent burning.

5. Drain the Latkes:

  • Once the latkes are golden and crispy, remove them from the skillet and drain on a plate lined with paper towels or a wire rack over a baking sheet to keep them crispy. You can keep cooked latkes warm in an oven set to a low temperature while you finish frying the rest.

6. Serve:

 

  • Serve the latkes hot, traditionally with applesauce and sour cream on the side for dipping.

Notes

Tips for Perfect Latkes:

  • Choosing Potatoes: Russet potatoes are ideal for latkes due to their high starch content, which helps bind the pancakes together.

  • Draining Moisture: Removing as much moisture as possible from the grated potatoes and onions is key to achieving crispy latkes.

  • Oil Temperature: Ensure the oil is hot enough before adding the latkes to prevent them from absorbing too much oil and becoming soggy.

  • Serving: Latkes are best served immediately after frying, but they can also be reheated in an oven to restore their crispiness.

 

Mom’s Potato Latkes are more than just a delicious treat; they’re a cherished tradition that brings families together, evoking memories of shared meals and celebrations. Whether you’re making them for a holiday or as a comforting snack, these latkes are sure to warm the heart and delight the palate.