Monday, December 29, 2008

My perfect latkes

Yesterday I fullfilled a year's worth of social obligations by hosting an open house for Chanukah. We had more than 40 people in our teeny house, with kids running mad in the back half and grownups sipping mulled wine and nibbling food in the front half. I love that about my house -- the playroom is separate from the living room and parties always break out this way.

I served my famous latkes -- famous mainly because few of our friends are Jewish or if they are, no one bakes them like I do. I don't really have my own recipe -- I fake most of the quanities, but I do have a secret. And since I ought to post something today, here's my recipe, which I'm now writing out for the first time:

5 lbs of potatoes (or if you have big plans like my party, double or triple this!)
1 medium onion
3 tbsp flour
2 eggs
1-2 tsp salt
1/2-1 tsp pepper
Lots of oil

Peel potatoes. Rest wrists, and whatever you do, don't try to bowl that night (lesson learned the hard way while husband gloated). Peel onion and chop in half.

Using food processor (unless you are masochistic!), grate potatoes and onions in batches. Change to main blade in food processor. Process shredded stuff in batches with a short burst, 20 seconds or so, to make mixture less stringy. Using hands, then squeeze out all the liquid handful by handful. Rest hands again. Get wrist massage if possible (not in my house, but maybe your partner is more into this than mine).

Add flour, egg, salt and pepper to mixture. Heat oil in frying pan over medium heat. Using large spoon, drop latke-sized amount of batter onto frying pan. When brown edges appear, flip latkes until golden brown on both sides. Remove from pan to paper towel (to absorb a lot of the oil -- don't want them greasy!).

Serve hot, with sour cream and/or apple sauce.

There, family secret recipe revealed. The trick is the second run through the food processor, and of course squeezing out the potato liquid.

Happy Chanukah!


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