World's Ultimate Best, Without a Doubt, Potato Latkes!
Look no further. Don't go to Martha's site, nor the Food Networks’, not anywhere. Eureka, you've found it! The "Golden Mean" of potato latke (pancake) perfection. Perchance I exaggerate?
Non! I tell you. This is it. The vrais latke!
So let's get started.
We need six potatoes and two onions.
How do you prefer to peel your potatoes? Knife or peeler? I prefer the OXO Swivel Peeler. After peeling the potatoes, place them in a bowl of water so they will not discolor.
Then grate the potatoes by hand, and possibly lose the tip of a finger in the process...
...or use the grater attachment to the Cuisinart. I prefer that.
Slice the potatoes into chunks, then place them into the Cuisinart and begin grating.
After they're grated, immediately place them in a large bowl of water.
Then drain the water.
This is really important: again place the grated potatoes into a bowl and fill with water. Repeat draining and soaking until the water is clear and there are no pinky or brownie areas of water. I also squeeze the shreds with my hands. Just keep on changing water, letting the shreds soak and drain again. You're getting rid of all of the starch so that the pancakes will be very crisp. Don't skip this step! You may have to soak and drain three or four or more times. Just do it.
Now take the onions, chop them roughly, and place them into the Cuisinart. This is the only time I chop onions in the Cuisinart. They get too watery for other recipes, but it works for this one. Just don't chop them to mush. You want small pieces, not mush.
Then, beat two eggs together. Add 1/2 cup of flour sifted with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of Kosher Salt. Add pepper to taste. I'm not big on pepper, but maybe you are. Now, drain those potatoes really well, squeezing as much water out of them as possible. Really get rid of that water! Now, add the egg, onion, flour, salt and pepper mixture to the potatoes and you're ready to go.
Pour about a 1/4 inch of canola oil into a heavy skillet. I mean heavy. I mean iron. Then, take a wooden spoon, place the handle top into the oil and wait for the oil to bubble around the handle. This tells you the oil is the right temperature for frying. Use this method when ever you fry. Aha, it is a trick that I learned in Italy at a cooking class with Guiliano Bugialli! Trust me, it works.
Now, the fun part. Add the potatoes, 1 tablespoon at a time, or as large as you like them, and you're good to go.
When they're brown on one side, turn them over.
Drain the pancakes on paper towels and they're ready to eat.
My husband ate one of these and proclaimed it was "a religious experience!" So enjoy!
Some people serve these with sour cream and applesauce. I eat them plain, just as I do caviar. I want nothing to detract from the divine taste.
Since you've stuck with me so far, let me give you a little treat.
A few years ago, we shot a video about making potato pancakes as an audition for a Food Channel competition. We never submitted it though because we discovered that the network wanted to own all rights in perpetuity.
Trust me, this is the way potato latkes (or pancakes) should be made!
We filmed it in 2004!!!! Here’s the video:
This recipe is an adaptation of Lora Brody's recipe for potato latkes from her book "Cooking With Memories."
Here are the ingredients:
6 Idaho potatoes
2 medium onions
2 extra large eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste