Latkes – crispy potato pancakes – are the star dish for a Hanukkah party. But, honestly, they’re a wonderful dish year-round.
This version combines the Idaho russet with diced apple. The starch and moisture in the russet potato helps the pancakes keep their shape and fry crisply, while the apple adds a faint sweet flavor. Maple-flavored applesauce is the perfect complement.
I am a fan of the following no-fail method that uses the food processor instead of grating the potatoes, onion and apple by hand: Puree the eggs and onions in the food processor until fluffy and then pulse in potato and apple chunks until they resemble finely grated potatoes. I usually test a bit of the mixture in hot oil before I start cooking a batch of latkes to make sure they are seasoned just right. You’ll be happy to know you can make this recipe ahead of time.
Here are a few more tips:
• Wear old clothes when frying, as you will smell like fried oil when you are finished.
• Use vegetable oil.
• Use nonstick skillets and a wide spatula.
• Cook latkes on medium-high heat.
• This recipe doubles or triples if you are having a crowd. I like to use a small ice cream scoop to drop the latkes into the hot oil. Or use a ladle or large tablespoon.
• Have a flat wire strainer nearby to collect any particles that stay in the oil; if the oil becomes too dirty, discard and begin again.
• Don’t crowd the pan or the oil temperature will drop and the pancakes will be oily.
• Put the pancakes on paper towels to drain oil before serving.
Diane Rossen Worthington is the author of 20 cookbooks and a James Beard award-winning radio show host. seriouslysimple.com