5 Tips for Great Potato Latkes (Pancakes)

Hanukah time is here my friends and I want to share a great recipe for classic and super authentic potato pancakes or "Latkes". Latkes in this new golden age of the home gourmet can also include spinach, apples, carrots, sweet potatoes and beets. They are easy to make, fun to eat and go well with breakfast, lunch and dinner.

How can you go wrong with fried potatoes? Well, a great latke is thin, golden brown, crispy and best straight out of the pan. A bad latke is soggy, mushy, undercooked, and oil logged.

Follow these 5 tips for great potato latkes and don't forget to make extra to put under your Hanukah bush!

1. Drain the potatoes well so they latkes get crisp and brown.

2. Utilize the potato starch to help thicken the mixture.

3. Use a mixture of chicken fat (schmaltz) and oil to fry the latkes. This will give them that authentic flavor.

4. Make sure you cover the bottom of a heavy skillet with oil and that it starts to smoke a little before you add the potato mixture.

5. Once you drop the shredded potato in the pan, do not touch and let it brown then turn and repeat. When the latkes are done, remove them from the pan, drain on paper towels and keep in a 225 F oven until service.

Homemade Potato Latkes

  • 2 lbs. Potato, shredded
  • ½ Onion, shredded
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 C Canola Oil
  • 4 oz. Chicken Skin or rendered chicken fat (schmaltz)
  • 1 tbsp. Salt and Pepper
  • Place the shredded potatoes and onion into cheesecloth or a kitchen towel and press out all of the water. If you don't squeeze out the water your pancakes will become sticky and gummy. Let the potato water sit for 5 minutes, pour off the water and remove the potato starch from the bottom. The starch will help bind the latkes together. Add the starch, onions, eggs and seasoning to the bowl and mix well to combine.

    Place a large pan over low/medium heat, add the chicken skin to the pan and let the fat render until the skin is crispy then remove. Add a quarter of the oil to the pan and bring up to heat. When the fat starts to smoke, place a spoonful of the potato mixture into the pan and flatten to ¼ of an inch. Allow the latkes to fry until golden brown on one side then turn and repeat. Remove the latkes from the pan, place on paper towels to drain and season with salt and pepper.

    Serve hot with fresh applesauce and sour cream.


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