Latkes are probably the most famous Jewish food, commonly called potato pancakes. This is probably one of the simplest traditional dishes out there to make, but they are still incredibly tasty. Some restaurant or from-mix latkes tend to be a little more spongy, but our family's version is more like a killer fried hash brown. We leave the skins on everything, partially for nutritional value (which is totally negated by the frying), and partially out of laziness. You can peel things if you want, but it really doesn't make a difference for flavor or texture.
The recipe, after the jump.
- 2 pounds potatoes, scrubbed and with eyes removed
- 2 apples, cored
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- A couple shakes of salt and pepper
Set a strainer in your sink and coarsely grate the potatoes and apples into it (or you can use a food processor). When you're finished grating, try to squeeze most of the water out into your sink. If you don't, you will have a puddle at the bottom of your bowl - not to mention, drippy latkes splatter hot oil.
Transfer the grated potato and apple into a mixing bowl. Add flour and egg, salt and pepper, and mix. Heat oil in a shallow pan (for frying, about one inch deep) on medium high - or until a small spoonful of the mixture sizzles nicely. Scoop up a handful of the potato mush, pat it into a thin patty, squeeze the excess liquid out of it, and then carefully set it in your pan. You can fry about 5 at a time without overcrowding your pan.
Fry until the edges start to brown, flip carefully, and then fry for about another 4 minutes. Drain on a tray with paper towels and serve while still hot, topped with applesauce or sour cream.
To reheat, toast in regular toaster slots (carefully!) in the toaster oven, or under the broiler. And remember: No matter how good these are, if you grind up a 10-pound bag of potatoes, you will be frying for about 2 or so hours.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Houston dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.