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Latkes - the Topic!


Fat Guy
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Just checking . . .

EDIT: By Jason Perlow -- Please note that this is one of the oldest threads on the site and a lot of Latke content has been merged into it. So some of the links may be screwed up and some of the posts out of context. But enjoy, there's some good stuff here.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
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You can call 'em what you want, I call 'em "Kartoffelpuffer", "Reibekuchen" or "Rieveplaetzje". My recipe is from the lower Rhein river valley near Kleve, handed down since 1887:

Peel and grate (fine, similar as cheese - by hand), into icy water, 1Kilo starchy potatoes (Burbank). Swish around, let stand 30 Min. Remove Potatoes in strainer, saving water, starch will settle after 10 more Min. discard water putting starch back with potatoes, salt, pepper, nutmeg 3 eggs and a bit of whole grain flour, just enough to make a "mass", that will "heap" a table spoon when scooped. Heat to smoking, fresh, good, clean rendered porkfat, fry patties brown and crisp Serve immediately with homemade apple sauce or lingonberries or preiselbeeren (cranberries are not the same!). When I am coming by your house, I'll make 'em.

Peter
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Porkfat!  

Not for latkes, although the recipe sounds great for potato pancakes and very traditional other than the choice of fat.

Grating by hand is traditional and the only way my mother-in-law makes them, but I use the grating disk on my food processor.  I use either baking potatoes or boiling potatoes, but not new potatoes -- too much moisture.   First, I peel the potatoes and cover them with cold water.  I grate the potatoes alternately with a sizable onion and keep mixing so that the onion juice helps prevent the potatoes from turning a funny color.  When everything is grated, I squeeze out the mixture over a small bowl and let the starch settle.  Then I pour out the liquid and add the starch at the bottom of the bowl to the potatoes and onions.  I add two beaten eggs and two tablespoons of matzah meal or flour, about a tablespoon of salt and a some pepper.  I use corn oil to pan-fry the latkes and serve them with applesauce.  

I find latkes made with potatoes grated by the food processor to be lighter and crisper than the traditional version, but many people prefer the heavier, softer texture that hand-grating produces.

(Edited by Sandra Levine at 10:54 pm on Dec. 6, 2001)

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I usually make Tex-Mex latkes. I've got more details on my site, but basically the're traditional latkes with cumin, chile powder, and a spice blend my sister sends me from Arizona called menudo mix (which I'm guessing includes a bit of oregano as well). You could serve these with salsa, but since I first stumbled onto what I later learned were latkes in a search for a quick fried potato substitue, I always eat them with ketchup.

Our blended family includes a couple of culturally Jewish sons, and they report that even at the annual Chanuka latke feed they go to with their dad, there are always a few folks sneaking out to the kitchen for ketchup in lieu of the sour cream and apple sauce. Oy

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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NY Times article on latkes and "criques" (from croustillant galette)

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/12/dining/12LATK.html

and Daniel Boulud's recipe for Crique Stephanoise (Potato Latke With Smoked Salmon)

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/12/dining/121LREX.html

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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While it has no effect on the recipe, the Ardèche is not exactly where the author places it in that article.

EDIT: link invalid

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Robert Buxbaum

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  • 11 months later...

I made over 200 Latkes 2 years ago in Philadelphia and have never made them again.

In fact I only mixed the batter and then made the latkes... But a friend who is an artist, has an annual Holiday Party with over 100 guests and he had prepared the mix with a his families recipe.

If someone has a fool proof and yet flavorful recipe, I am all game. Maybe I can even report back on how it tasted. I have not loved Latkes a lot. Most people make them very greasy and sweet. I like them savory.

Any recipe suggestions?

I will now read the links. Thanks Jason! :smile:

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I'm not generally into, or familiar with Jewish cooking - but LATKES! Yes! And meat knishes! Got a good recipe for knishes? The last, and only, time I had them was 35 years ago when I was working on fancy cars in Newport (RI) and ate lunch everyday at a local hole-in-the-wall Jewish deli that had it together.

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Here is an evoulotionized (over 25 years) of Latke making, with a change I just came by today for the first time:

4 large potatoes

1 large onion

Magimixed/grated

2 eggs

5 Tablespoons of flour

Salt

White pepper

Mix well, allow few moments till you can get rid of most of the (potato & onion) liquids.

In a large pan pore 2-3 cm of oil.

After using corn and olive oil I used ground nut oil for the first time and the Latkes came out perfect than ever,( They had an evenly crisp brown coat and were "Medium" inside)

You can use a tablespoon or your hands to make the desired shape

Fry till its brown and turn (You'll end up with 12-15 Latkes)

Happy Hannake

"Eat every meal as if it's your first and last on earth" (Conrad Rosenblatt 1935)

http://foodha.blogli.co.il/

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I made latkes last night for the 2nd time in my life. Last year's were, if not quite disastrous, not quite edible either: lumpen, leaden and greasy.

This year, I invited people over and then remembered I didn't know what the hell I was doing, so I called my sister for a latke consultation. She said the secret was frying in...Crisco. Yep.

Per her instructions, I peeled seven large russets, grated them in the food processor, and grated a large onion by hand. They were mixed up in the wok (excellent mixing vessel) with three eggs, 3/4 cup matzoh meal, ample salt and pepper.

I heated 2 large skillets (one cast iron) and added a generous amount of Crisco to each. Picked up globs of batter, squeezed out the excess liquid, and dropped them into the hot fat. After about 8 minutes, flipping midway, they were golden brown and crispy. At some point I transferred the batter to a strainer to get rid of some of the excess liquid. Once fried, the latkes were drained on paper towel and left to cool, then reheated briefly before serving.

Accompaniments were sour cream, homemade applesauce and a romaine/endive/radicchio salad. Every latke was devoured. As a bonus, the cast iron skillet is much better seasoned than it was before this exercise.

Was it the Crisco? I don't know, but I'm definitely buying a can of it for Chanukah next year.

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The best latkes in the city are the white truffle latkes at Campagna. At least they used to be the last time I had them about 3 years ago. At home, since I am wheat intolerant, they usually make two batches. One with and one without. The with are standard latkes and applesauce or sour cream are the preferred toppings. The without are pretty much grated potato, onion and egg and then fried. Creme fraiche and smoked salmon or caviar are by far the preferred toppings for that version. But we didn't make them this year because H-Day was too close to T-Day and it's just too much food.

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I notice in the above recipes that the grated potatoes seemed to be squeezed almost dry after adding all the other ingredients. I've always squeezed them before adding the eggs, flour, etc. Is this wrong? I also add a touch of cream to the mix.

I've always squeezed the grated potatoes dry before adding any other ingredients other than the grated onion. It just seems logical. Why strain out the eggs or salt and pepper?

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The best latkes in the city are the white truffle latkes at Campagna.

Can't resist.

Why would these be the best, Steve? Why would they be better than the latkes being made by thousands of talented Jewish cooks in their homes all over the city this week? Why are they better than those produced by the the carefully-constructed method used by the FG in his prizewinning effort last year? Why can't they just be *among* the best, or the best you've ever had?

Who said "There are no three star restaurants, only three star meals"?

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Oh stop it, boys. :wacko:

Instead of latkes (which I rarely make in any case), I made some thick-sliced potato chips tonight. Hey, why not: it's fried potatoes, without all the hassle of grating, squeezing, mixing, etc. Still more or less in the spirit of the holiday (something fried in oil).

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The best latkes in the city are the white truffle latkes at Campagna.

Can't resist.

Why would these be the best, Steve? Why would they be better than the latkes being made by thousands of talented Jewish cooks in their homes all over the city this week? Why are they better than those produced by the the carefully-constructed method used by the FG in his prizewinning effort last year? Why can't they just be *among* the best, or the best you've ever had?

Robert, that's the way Steve writes. On another topic, I have no idea what "Magimixed/grated" is either. Is it synonymous with plain grating? Or is it electrical grating with a magical mixing machine?

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Magimixed/grated

:unsure: what is this? :smile:

I am sorry... I should have simply used clearer words instead of emoticons. My apologies to all.

I had never heard of Magimix, for real. I am sorry.

I was not sure if it was an ingredient.. vegetable... mixed flour or whatever..

And now I know what it is.

Thanks.

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