Potato Latkes
  • 2 large onions, or 1 spanish onion
  • oil, organic if you can, or at least olive oil (extra virgin, cold pressed)
  • 2 lb potatoes (usually 4-5)
  • salt
  • pepper, coarse
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour

    1. Chop onions, very fine.
    2. Cook in oil until wilted, i.e. not firm anymore.
    3. Grate potatoes and place in ice water for ten minutes (this draws out the extra starch), then in a colander to dry or squeeze out the excess water. Don't leave them long or they may darken.
    4. Mix together all ingredients.
    5. Heat a pan with 4 Tbsp oil, low enough so it doesn't smoke. Drop potatoe mixture by tablespoons and flatten each latke as you drop them.
    6. Cook until golden then turn to brown the other side. Remove to paper towel or newspaper to soak excess oil. Serve at once, with no-fat sour cream or yogurt and apple sauce. Don't even think about catsup, 'cause that's just gross.
Nutmeg? Olive oil? Whole wheat flour? Precooked onions? In my book, these are abominations, as well as way too much work! Here is, if not a definitive, at least an inoffensive recipe for potato latkes:

2 large russet potatoes, peeled
1 medium onion
1 egg
1/2 - 1 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1/4 c flour
vegetable oil for frying

Either by hand or with a food processor, separately grate the onions and the potatoes. At this point, you may soak the grated potato in cold water and squeeze out the excess moisture, but this is not strictly necessary.

Soaked & squeezed or not, combine the potato, egg, onion, salt, pepper and flour. Heat oil in a skillet. Drop by tablespoonfuls into the hot oil. Cook pancakes until well browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels or brown paper. Keep latkes, on their draining paper, warm in the oven while cooking remaining batter. Don't worry if it darkens a little; it will be fine once it's cooked.

Serves two or three, depending on how hungry they are. Increase recipe as necessary.

Potato latkes are traditional Ashkenazi food at Hanukkah. It is said that the oil they are fried in represents the miraculous oil that burned in the temple light for eight days after the Maccabees fought the Greeks.

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