What am I doing writing writing about Latkes in a Jewish publication.? I must be Meshugeneh (a little crazy)! How does the saying go, there isn’t A Jew in Israel that doesn’t know how to make Latkes. This is for my non Jewish friends. I’m thrilled you love Latkes. It says a lot about you.
For non Jews, my explanation is this: Think of St Patty’s Day. Everyone is Irish just for a day. Once you experience Jewish cooking , you get to proudly wear that title, even if your mother wasn’t Jewish. Its temporary, we still love you.
A lot of my non Jewish friends asked for my recipe. Its kinda a recipe. You know how I am, unstructured, a rule breaker. Besides, no self respecting Jewish grandmother would ever measure ingredients. So fasten your seat belts while I take you on a magical Latke ride.
5 Lbs russets peeled and sliced, read below
1 onion chopped
salt and pepper
I use Gluten free flour, about a 1/2 cup, This is entirely debatable but I like it.
Coconut oil – It has a high smoke point and even though in ancient times they probably used olive oil, I love using this.
I used 5 lbs Russets. Peel them and leave them in a pot of cold water. Oh and by the way slice them into wedges (think of them like Jewish steak fries) so they can easily fit in your food processor chute. We would call that A Yiddishe Kop ( a smart person). No wonder we invent all the cures for disease! And look at how many Jewish doctors there are. It had to start somewhere.
Process the potatoes with the grating blade, empty and squeeze them in a colander. This is almost a useless endeavor because they will get somewhat watery, its the nature of potatoes, but we do it anyway, It makes us feel better. Add them to a large bowl.
Change the blade on the processor to the chopper. Cut an onion into large pieces and pulse until they look chopped. BTW, always have the blade in first otherwise the onions will get caught underneath and you might say things that would be a Shanda for the neighbors. ( to bring shame, disgrace, embarrassment. What will the neighbors say ? ) My grandmother constantly worried about this, and I my grandfather used to yell out the tenement window, ” What didn’t you want the neighbors to hear Bessie?”
Add the onions to the bowl along with 3 eggs that you have broken into a separate bowl. This is for 2 reasons. #1 Make sure there is no blood. ( if you were kosher, adding eggs with blood would make the entire thing no good, and not kosher). But since you aren’t, just check for shells. Add in the flour and mix well with your hands. Yes there are raw eggs, yes its messy. But just think of all those good vibes you added to the bowl.
Heat up a large saute pan, add in the coconut oil, or whatever oil you use. Get the pan nice and hot and drop them in. Some cultures like them thick, but we love them thin and crispy, so I flatten them a bit. Don’t turn them until you see the edges brown and that ‘s a wrap! Tracy ( my daughter) said, “look Mom there is oil left over! A Chanukah miracle!”
Happy Chanukah from my family to yours, Love, Laurel