• Potato Pancakes a.k.a. “Latkes”

    After five nights of Hanukkah, you might think we’ve had our fill of latkes (which is the Yiddish name for potato pancakes) but we’re still going strong. How can anyone resist thin, crispy, lacy perfectly fried latkes? Topped with sweet applesauce, they’re irresistable. Problem is, you can’t just eat one!

    Classic Hanukkah question: blender, food processor, or hand-grated potatoes?

    When I was first diagnosed with Celiac (blood test), it was just before Hanukkah ’05. After the initial shock wore off, I knew I had to figure out a way to eat my beloved latkes (otherwise known as potato pancakes). The most obvious change I needed to make had to do with the type of flour used in the batter. One of the easiest conversions to make, trust me.

    Over the years, I’ve experimented with different approaches to the assembly of my latkes. But this year, I think I’ve finally found the ideal method. It’s actually a combination of techniques. But that’s what works for me. If you ask any group of people about their latke-making technique, each one will have a different reply!

    I only make these Hanukkah darlings once a year – during Hanukkah, of course. And then we really go to town, eating them at least once a day during the eight day celebration. I always make extra batter. If you store it in an air-tight container, the batter is totally fine the next day.

    So, come on. Run to the store and buy some potatoes (check out recipe below for additional ingredients), pull out your frying pan, and get cooking!

    My inspiration for these latkes comes from a billion different cookbooks and maybe a trillion different great Jewish cooks, but the most recent adaptation was inspired by Mollie Katzen’s Still Life With Menu cookbook.

    Gluten Free Potato Latkes
    recipe by Ellen Allard, adapted from Still Life With Menu

    2 large (large-person’s-fist-sized) potatoes (russets work well)
    1 medium-sized onion
    2 eggs
    1/4 cup all purpose gluten free flour mix
    1/2 tsp salt
    freshly ground pepper, to taste (optional)
    7 – 8 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil, for frying

    Heat a medium-sized saucepan of water to boiling.

    Meanwhile, peel, rinse, and grate the potatoes. I used a food processor for the first grating.

    Drop the grated potato into the boiling water and parboil for five minutes. Pour into a colander, rinse and drain thoroughly with cold water.

    Optional step: Grab handfuls of grated, drained potato, squeeze out any extra water remaining, put in food processor with S-blade. Repeat for the rest of the grated potato sitting in the colander. Process until you can’t see the grated potatoes any longer – in other words, they’ve turned mushy. I would recommend not letting them get TOO mushy. This is an optional step. I have asked others about this and they think it’s unnecessary. I like the extra effort – I think it makes for a perfect texture.

    Pour the potato mixture into a large bowl.

    Grate the onion using your preferred method. Add to potato mixture. I used the S-blade of my processor for my onion grating, but this renders the onion very watery so I had to squeeze the water out of the onions before adding to the potato mixture.

    Place your eggs into the food processor. Give ’em a whirl. Add to potato mixture along with flour, salt, and pepper. Blend well.

    Place a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add a few tablespoons of oil and wait until the oil is super hot (tiny speck of batter should sizzle when it hits the oil). Spoon batter into hot oil to form pancakes and press them with a spatula to flatten. Fry on both sides until crisp and brown. You will have to periodically add more oil to the pan.

    As the latkes are finished cooking, place on a paper-towel lined sheet pan. If desired, place in a 200 degree oven to keep warm.

    Serve with your choice of topping. Sour cream and applesauce are the usual suspects.

    So, tell me, what is your preferred method for making potato latkes?!
    • mare

      I’ve never been able to turn down a latke (or a potato pancake) so I’d have to say my favorite method would be any and all ways. They are always good. I am going to try your method of refrigerating extra for n the weekend. Thanks!

    • renae

      I grate the potato and onion and squeeze it well! I love them served with Salmon. Yummo!

    • Stephanie

      I usually grate–either by hand or by food processor–and put the grated potatoes & onions in a bowl. Then add eggs, potato starch or any type of flour, and salt & pepper. As I cook them, I transfer the batter from one bowl to another, squeezing it out, pouring out the water, and scooping the potato starch at the bottom of the bowl (naturally occurring) into the batter.

      Just had Phyllis's blender batter, though, and I must admit to loving it!

      Happy Chanuka!

    • Guest

      These worked perfectly!

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