Latkes are traditionally served for Hanukkah because they are cooked in oil (to commemorate the vial of oil lasting for 8 days). However they are a perfect accompaniment to beef or chicken and can also be made into small rounds and topped with sour cream and caviar for an elegant appetizer.
6-8 large thin skinned potatoes, California long whites or Yukon Gold
3 eggs, beaten well
1 Tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2-cup matzo or cracker meal
1 large onion, cut into 8 pieces
Oil for frying
1. Grate the raw potatoes using the large grating disk on a processor or the largest holes on a grater if doing it by hand. Place grated potato in a colander, rinse with cold water and drain while you grate onion.
2. Combine eggs, salt, pepper and matzo meal in a 3 quart bowl. Mix thoroughly.
3. Change to the cutting blade on your processor. Add onions to the work bowl. Pulse on and off 5 times. Add ¼ of the grated potatoes to the onion and pulse on and off to make a coarse paste. Add to the egg mixture and stir to combine.
4. Add the drained potatoes to the bowl and mix thoroughly using a large spoon or your hands.
5. Heat a large frying pan or large skillet for 20 seconds. Add enough oil to cover the pan to a depth of 1/4 inch and heat for an additional 20 seconds. Drop mounds of potato mixture into the pan. Fry on both sides until golden. Drain fried latkes on a platter covered with crumpled paper towels. Serve with applesauce and sour cream.
• Grated potatoes turn black when exposed to air. Rinsing the potatoes under running water washes away excess starch and the discoloring culprit.
• Always grate your potatoes separately from your onions that way you won’t lose any of the flavorful juice when you drain the potatoes
• The best way to drain fried foods is on a plate covered with crumpled paper towels. Crumpling gives more surface area for absorption.