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Monday, 2 December 2013

Latkes - Potato Pancakes

It was a tradition in my home as a child to make potato latkes during Hanukkah, and it's something I've carried with me now that I have a home of my own.  We all love to make (and eat!) latkes, also called potato pancakes, during this time of year.  Growing up, there were some years where they tasted divine and others where they weren't so good.  As I've gotten older, I've been working to modify the latke recipe so it always turns out well for us.  This version is my favorite - you get a crispy outside with a slightly softer inside.  They're nice and flavorful.  It always seems like I'm making a massive amount when I peel and grate 5 lbs of potatoes. But, trust me, they go fast!   In fact, I often feel like I'm not actually getting any cooked because they seem to disappear off the cookie sheet next to my frying pan by the time the next batch has been fried.  I've been asked for this recipe by a number of people, so it seemed time to get it posted.  Enjoy!!!

The latkes that finally made it to the table.

Latkes - Potato Pancakes
Serves ~ 6
Makes ~ 50-60 (by my estimate - these go so fast it's hard to keep track!)

Peel & grate (I like to peel by hand, placing them in a bowl of cold water until I'm done to keep them from turning brown, and then grate using a food processor):
5 lbs russet potatoes

Start heating 1/2" canola oil OR avocado oil (yum!) over medium-high heat in a large frying pan with high sides.

In a large bowl, mix together:
4 eggs
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
4-5 Tbsp Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix (*see note below)
1 Tbsp dried chives (or 5-6 fresh scallions, diced)
1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
2-3 tsp salt
Dash of pepper

Squeeze as much liquid out of your grated potato as you can and add to your large bowl. 
You can do this one handful at a time - I tend to just squeeze the liquid out of one handful at a time OR you can put the grated potato in a kitchen towel and twist to squeeze out the liquid - you'll want to rinse out your towel after this, or it can turn a bit brown from the potato juice.

Mix potatoes into egg mixture until thoroughly mixed/coated. Now you're ready to fry!

Make a small latke in your hand (a little smaller than palm-size), flattening and squeezing out any excess juice.  Place latke carefully in your oil and fry on each side, approx 4-6 minutes per side, until a nice light brown.   Turn carefully with a slotted spatula.   Don't overfill your frying pan, cooking 5-8 latkes at a time seems to work well.  
Watch for the edges of the latkes to turn brown before flipping over. 

Remove from oil and place on a baking sheet lined with a few layers of paper towel.  Best served warm.  Leftovers reheat nicely in an oven or toaster oven.
Latkes out of the fryer.  I tend to fill a cookie sheet 3 times with fried latkes (really I'm re-filling since the first tray of latkes seems to disappear, so I just fill the tray again)

Serve with applesauce or sour cream.  Enjoy!!!

* Flour note: If you're not gluten-free, you can make this recipe using regular flour.  If you don't want to make up a whole batch of my gluten-free flour mix, mix together 4-5 Tbsp GF flour and a pinch of xanthan gum for this recipe. 

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