Recipe courtesy of Lisa Derwin

Classic Potato Latkes

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 min
  • Active: 2 min
  • Yield: 50 medium latkes
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Ingredients

2 medium to large yellow or Vidalia onions, quartered

3 jumbo eggs 

4 1/2 teaspoons powdered golden consomme  

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper 

5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes  

3/4 to 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, depending on wetness of the batter 

Neutral oil, for frying (I use canola) 

Sour cream and chives or homemade applesauce, for serving 

Directions

Special equipment:
a deep-frying thermometer
  1. Add the onions to a food processor and process with the standard blade until smooth. Add the eggs and process until light in color. Add the golden consomme and white pepper and blend on high until you have an even mush with no pieces of onion visible. Transfer the onion mush to a mixing bowl.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut a third of them into quarters. Put the quartered potatoes in the food processor and blend until an even mush is achieved. Add the potato mush to the mixing bowl. 
  3. This is a good time to start heating your frying pan(s) on very low heat with NO OIL! 
  4. Switch to the food processor shredding disc and shred the remaining potatoes in batches if necessary. Before you add the shredded potatoes to the mixing bowl, take the potatoes by the handful and squeeze out as much water as possible over the sink. Add the squeezed potatoes to the mixing bowl--breaking them apart as you add them--and mix them in after every 2 to 3 handfuls. This will help evenly incorporate the mush and shreds for a consistent batter that is seasoned evenly as well. Use your strong spoon! Add 3/4 cup flour and mix; the batter is the right consistency when you don't see a lot of water collecting across the top. Add more flour a bit at a time, just enough to not have a watery mix. 
  5. Turn the pan(s) up to medium-high or high heat (for a heavier pan). When a drop of water in the pan sizzles and pops, the pan is hot enough to add about 3/4 inch of oil. Heat the oil to between 375 and 400 degrees F.  
  6. Before you start a big batch, make a few "tester latkes" to taste so you can adjust the seasoning. How many you make will depend on how many "experts" you have hanging around waiting for a "tester." 
  7. Know the size of latke you want to make. I make larger ones if they are part of a meal and smaller ones if they are being served as an appetizer or being sent to school for a holiday party. Smaller ones should be about 1 tablespoon and larger ones should be about a serving spoon of batter. 
  8. Think to yourself "thin and crispy" while you spoon the batter into the pan and flatten. Don't crowd the pan. The shredded edges may touch, but that's ok. 
  9. Cook the latkes until the bottoms are golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes on the first side. You can't rush perfection--the middle has to cook. Don't make the heat so high that the outside burns but the middle is uncooked. Put on your favorite music or have someone you love keep you company!  
  10. Flip when the bottoms are golden brown. Flipping tip: Putting a spatula under the latke using your dominant hand and a fork on top of the latke with your other hand will give you a controlled flip that won't splash you with oil. Cook on the second side until the bottoms are golden brown, another 3 to 4 minutes. 
  11. Line a baking dish with paper towels. Place the cooked latkes on the lined baking dish on their sides (like a tray of Oreos); this will let the oil drain and keep them from getting soggy. If you have a lot of counter space, feel free to use a wire rack and then stack sideways. Foods cooked in oil are a part of the Chanukah story.  
  12. Mix the batter before each batch to keep everything well incorporated. Repeat and repeat and repeat and beware "experts" looking for more "testers." If you need to add more oil to the pans, do it between batches and give it a minute to heat up. The latkes can be kept in a low oven to keep warm or the baking dish can be put in the oven at 350 degrees F to heat from room temperature. Serve with sour cream and chives or homemade applesauce. 
  13. B'tayavon (Bon Appetit).