Crispy Potato Latkes (Potato Pancakes)
Latkes are a classic part of a traditional Hanukkah meal, but these potato pancakes are a terrific treat any time of year. Even though they're delicious on their own, enjoy them at their finest by adding a dollop of sour cream and our Fresh Cardamom Spiced Applesauce as accompaniments. Latkes reheat well, too, so if you want to make them ahead of time, you don't need to worry that you'll be compromising taste and quality.
- 1 unflavored vitamin C tablet, crushed (see recipe notes)
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- 2-1/2 pounds (about 4 large) Idaho potatoes, grated
- 1/2 cup onion, grated
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Sour cream and applesauce for serving
Place the crushed vitamin C (ascorbic acid) tablet in the hot water and stir until dissolved.
Place the grated potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add the dissolved vitamin C and toss to combine. Add the onion and beaten egg, mix well. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and white pepper and set aside.
Place about 1/4-inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. While the oil heats, add the dry ingredients to the potato-egg mixture, tossing to coat.
Using a large slotted spoon, place 2 tablespoon portions of the potato mixture in the hot oil, pressing them into patties about 3-inches in diameter. Fry until golden brown and crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Don't overcrowd the pan - you will probably need to fry three separate batches.
Transfer the latkes to a paper towel-lined platter to absorb any excess oil. Latkes can be kept in a warm oven (200°F), loosely wrapped in foil until ready to serve.
Serve with sour cream and applesauce.
Makes about 18 latkes (potato pancakes)
The dissolved vitamin C tablet is an easy way to keep your shredded potatoes from turning brown while you're working with them, and unlike lemon juice, it doesn't impart any added flavors.
Also, be sure to use a slotted spoon to transfer your potato mixture to the frying pan, draining off the excess liquid before putting the pancake in the oil.
Adapted from "Fast & Festive Meals for the Jewish Holidays" by Marlene Sorosky (out of print)