December 6, 2007

I Want My Presents. NOW. Please!

I haven't changed much in thirty-seven years, but I have learned not to let it show all over my face. Okay, I'm lying. Truth is, if there is one thing I like as much as lighting the menorah and opening presents, it's latkes. The potato pancakes my mother made once a year, on Chanukah.

1 medium yellow onion, chopped finely
4-5 cups grated Idaho potatoes, well drained (you can buy pre-grated potatoes, but that's cheating)
2 eggs
1/4 cup matzo meal
salt and fresh ground pepper (just a pinch or two)
vegetable oil for frying

Mix everything together. Heat oil 1/4 to 1/2" deep in a heavy skillet (I used cast iron) to 350 degrees. If you can't measure the temperature of the oil, throw in a tiny bit of the latke mixture. If it turns brown in one minute, you are good to do. Using a tablespoon, put small heaps of the mixture into the hot oil. Flip over when you can tell the bottom is a dark golden brown- you will be able to see the edges brown. Also you start to see the inside part of the potato pancake cooking.

Flip over and let it brown on the other side. Drain on paper towels. To keep them warm as you make more batches, place them on a cooling rack placed over a cookie sheet in an oven preheated to 225 degrees. Don't stack them on the cooling rack or they will get soggy- just use more cooling racks.

There are a thousand ways to serve them. My father eats them plain with just salt. I like them with both applesauce and sour cream. They aren't half bad with a dollop of creme fraiche and a tiny bit of caviar. We used to fight over the prized extra crispy little pieces left after the latkes had cooked.

Latkes are Jewish ambrosia, and these were no exception. You don't have to be Jewish to make latkes, so give them a try. For those of you celebrating, happy second day of Chanukah...and the eggs.


Anonymous said...

The potatoe pancakes look great! I make mine the same way as you. Happy Chanukah. Go Steelers and out of sympathy and the holiday spirit--Go Eagles!

Anonymous said...

my favorite picture of you!
love and hugs,

Emiline said...

Your latkes look delicious! I love anything with potatoes.