Potato Latkes, with Variations
- 1 -1/2 pounds russet potatoes peeled
- 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons flour (or more) or matzo meal (during Passover)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
- South Western Style Omit the shallots; mix the batter with chopped herbs such as cilantro, scallion and dried oregano. Serve topped with slivers of roasted red peppers, grated Jack cheese and salsa.
- Curried Style mix potatoes with some curry powder. Make a circle of sliced fresh tomatoes on a dinner plate. Center 3 to 4 overlapping pancakes in an inner circle and center a dollop of sour cream and hot pickle in the middle.
- Italian style mix potatoes and onion with a smidgen of raw garlic and thin slices of prosciutto. Cook in olive oil and serve topped with fresh ricotta cheese and surrounded with a dice of seeded tomatoes mixed with basil and vinaigrette.
In a food processor grate the potatoes. Line a sieve with cheesecloth and transfer potatoes to the sieve. Set sieve over a bowl, twist cheesecloth into a pouch, squeezing out some moisture. Let mixture drain for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, pour off liquid from the bowl but leave the white potato starch that settles in the bottom of the bowl.
To that starch add shallots, eggs, flour, 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt and freshly ground pepper. Return drained potatoes to this mixture and toss to combine.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking pan with paper towels. When you are ready to eat, in a large skillet heat 1/4 inch of oil over medium high heat until hot. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of potato mixture and cook for 3 to 4 minutes a side; latkes should be golden and crisp on both sides. Eat right away or keep warm in oven. Serve with applesauce or sour cream or cottage cheese mixed with sour cream
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