After writing about Hanukkah recipes for Blogher yesterday, the only question was 'what kind' of latkes would we have for supper? Carrot? Spinach? Sweet potato? I chose traditional potato latkes, prepared (I think, based on other bloggers' recipes) in a somewhat unconventional method. Instead of grating, the potatoes are whizzed in the blender with onion, apple and egg to the consistency of applesauce. This lets them 'splat' into hot oil for cooking, creating lots of crispiness.
Served with sour cream, warm applesauce and sorghum, the latkes were completely delicious, enjoyed immensely by both my dad and me. Since this was my first time to cook (and eat, too?) latkes I have a few impressions but certainly can't be considered an expert.
- While crispy is good, Dad and I both preferred the latkes crispy on the edges (way more than in the photograph, I got better as I went along) but a little thick in the center. This might be a case of 'to each their own taste'. Luckily the latkes can be cooked to different consistencies.
- To achieve crispy, you have to use a heavy layer of oil in the pan. With less oil, the latkes were more like potato pancakes.
- The potato mixture definitely turns an ugly gray if left for more than 30 minutes. So while you can gather the ingredients ahead of time, don't put them through the mixer until the griddle is heating up.
- A griddle would be useful. For the two of us, I used a skillet which held only four small latkes at a time.
- I loved these with applesauce and sour cream. My dad loved them with sorghum (or maple syrup would be good).
- It's messy to make latkes! I was glad I'd changed into a sweatshirt before starting, as oil splashed everywhere.
~ more potato recipes ~
~ one year ago this week Carrot & Daikon Refrigerator Pickle, great to have on hand for a quick salad ~
~ two years ago today Celery & Apple Salad, surprisingly simple, surprisingly delicious, a great winter salad ~
Serves 2 - 3 for supper, 4 - 6 for sides
2 pounds baking potatoes (these are the mealy potatoes, often called Idahoes or russets), peeled, cut into 1/2" cubes, (this next step isn't needed if you're putting into the blender right away) dropped into cold water so they don't discolor, dried on paper towels before proceeding
1/2 a medium onion, chopped
1/2 apple, peeled, cored, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
White pepper to taste
1 teaspoon baking powder (the inspiring recipe suggests using kosher baking powder or omitting)
1/4 - 1/2 cup matzoh meal (or flour) - I used a full 1/2 cup of matzoh meal which was good for crispy-on-the-edges latkes, use less for more crispiness throughout
Oil, vegetable or canola (make sure it's fresh, if it smells even a tiny bit off, make something else)
For serving, sour cream and warm applesauce
Whiz all the ingredients except the matzoh meal and oil in a blender til the consistency of medium-fine applesauce. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the matzoh meal.
Spread a layer of oil in a skillet or on a griddle and heat on MEDIUM to MEDIUM HIGH (you'll need to gauge your own temperature, one that lets the latkes cook through with the brownness and crispiness you like). To know when the oil is hot enough, it should sizzle when you sprinkle a drop of water into it. Scoop about a tablespoon of potato mixture and from about 6 - 8 inches above, drop it with a splaaaat into the oil - look out, it will splatter. If needed, use the spoon to spread the mixture out a bit. Let cook 1 - 2 minutes til crispy, turn over and cook another 1 - 2 minutes. Add oil between batches, letting it heat up before splaaattting more potato mixture into it.
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