My Mother’s Potato Latkes

  • Serves: Makes 24, 2 - 3 inch
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My mother, Priscilla, taught me the essential trick to making the best Potato Latkes is to fry them twice if you aren't serving them right away - they won't be soggy, but will remain crispy! As you have probably found, it's hard to get an exact recipe out of someone who has made it by heart for over 40 years -- this is as close as I could get, and it's pretty darn close. For modern times, I also created Sarah's Gluten-Free Potato Latkes Recipe.
VEGETABLES INGREDIENT HELP

INGREDIENTS
3 - 4 cups peeled and grated Yukon Gold potatoes or a mix of Idaho, Sweet or Yukon Gold. (One large potato yields 1 cup)
1/2 cup grated onions or shallots
2 - 3 large lightly beaten eggs
3/4 -1 cup matzo meal, unsalted
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper

2 - 3 cups peanut oil or Crisco for shallow frying (Peanut oil has the highest flashpoint and can cook the hottest.)

a large 10 or 11 inch skillet

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Hand grate the onions into a colander under running water. It prevents your eyes from tearing from the raw onions.

2. Peel and grate potatoes. (Use the regular grater holes. You can also process with the grater attachment in a food processor only in small batches). Place in a colander to drain. Use water in bread baking or discard. With your hand, grab grated potatoes and squeeze out water. Place in a large bowl. Combine potatoes and onions.

3. Sprinkle 1/4 cup matzo meal on top of the potato mixture, and combine with large strokes of a spoon. Repeat with 2 more additions until 3/4 cup total of the matzo meal has been added in. ( I like to use my hands for mixing, as it is easier.)

4. Add in eggs, salt and pepper. Combine mixture. Let sit a few minutes so matzo meal absorbs liquids. With a potato masher, mush the ingredients after any additions until it holds together like cement.

5. Cover and let mixture sit in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour. In about 10 minutes before taking out, heat enough peanut oil in a skillet to partially submerge latkes by 1/2 to 1 inch. The temperature should reach and remain at 365 - 375 degrees F under medium-high heat. If you don't have a thermometer, oil is ready when you place a small amount of latke batter in it and it sizzles around the edges. Oil should not smoke.

6. Mix latke batter with a spoon after removing from refrigerator. The mixture should just hold its shape in a spoon when tapped against the side of the bowl. Place and carefully flatten 1/8 cup size globs in the hot oil to fry for approximately 5 - 10 minutes. When edges are golden brown, turn over with a slotted spoon and fry on other side for 2 - 3 minutes.

7. Fry to a golden brown if serving right away. Remove with a slotted spoon to blot and drain on absorbent paper.

SERVE
Serve warm with homemade applesauce and sour cream.

IF SERVING LATER
1. If serving later, just fry until very lightly browned in Step #7. 

2. Right before serving, heat enough peanut oil in a large skillet to partially submerge previously fried latkes by 1/2 to 1 inch. The temperature should reach and remain at 365 - 375 degrees F under medium-high heat. Place fried latkes in the hot oil to fry for approximately 1 minute each side until golden brown. Blot and drain on absorbent paper.

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