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Perfect Potato Latkes

Perfect Potato Latkes
These traditional latkes are based on a recipe from the author's mother. She chopped the onions and grated the potatoes by hand, but it's easier and faster to use a food processor, as called for in this recipe. Serve the latkes with applesauce, sour cream and sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 large russet potatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Directions:

In a food processor fitted with the shredding disk, chop the onion using on-off pulses. Add the potatoes and process until finely chopped, with some texture remaining; do not overprocess. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the eggs, olive oil, flour and baking powder, season with salt and pepper, and stir until well combined.

Line a baking sheet with paper towels. In a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, pour in oil to a depth of 1/8 inch and heat until a small piece of bread dropped into the oil sizzles and begins to fry. Working in batches, use a large spoon to drop the batter (about 2 Tbs. per latke) into the hot oil, flattening with the back of the spoon. Fry, turning once, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the latkes to the prepared baking sheet to drain, then serve immediately. Makes 6 to 8 latkes.

Note: To make mini-latkes, spoon the potato mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a 1-inch round tip. Let the excess liquid to drain into the sink. In a large nonstick fry pan, heat the oil as described above. Working in batches, pipe the potato mixture into the hot oil to form small latkes and fry until golden brown. Makes 12 to 16 mini-latkes.

Judy Zeidler, Author, The Gourmet Jewish Cookbook (William Morrow and Co., Inc., 1988).