Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Potato Latkes or I Try To Be Kosher

Sometimes I wish I was Jewish. For whatever reason, I find the religion and culture fascinating. And maybe it's the fact that I couldn't ever really be Jewish that makes me want it even more. However, I can still cook, eat and enjoy Jewish food. The holidays are in full swing at our apartment. We're having a party on Friday night, so I spent my random day off on Monday decorating and cooking. Latkes are a completely new thing for me to make because 1.) it's not Italian, 2.) I rarely cook with potatoes and 3.) I have never, ever trully fried anything. I bought a frying/candy thermometer at the store because the recipe called for it. Turns out I totally could have done without it, which is a good thing because as I was removing the thermometer from the skillet I burned my fingers and dropped/threw the thermometer on the counter where it bounced of and shattered on the floor. Turns out frying is a lot less scary than I imagined it would be (except for grabbing the thermometer). The draw of this hors d'oeuvre is that it can be reheated just before guests arrive.

Potato Latkes: (adapted from Gourmet) 1/2 medium onion 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled (about 6) 2 teaspoons lemon juice (to prevent browning) 1/3 cup flour salt and pepper 3 eggs, whisked 1 cup vegetable oil You can shred the potatoes and onions in a food processor or (as I did) with a cheese grater. Grate/shred the onion. Mix potatoes and onion together. Toss with lemon juice. In a separate bowl mix flour, about 2 teapspoons of salt and a teaspoon of pepper. Add to potato/onion mixture and toss to mix. Add whisked eggs and stir to coat.

Add oil to heavy skillet and heat to 360 degrees on the stovetop. Add a heaping spoonful of the potatoes to the oil. Use a fork to flatten to 3- or 4-inch pancakes. Cook until golden brown on each side (take 2-3 minutes each). Transfer to paper towel lined baking tray.

Apparently, latkes can be frozen for up to two weeks. Reheat in an oven at 450 degrees for five minutes. Served with sour cream (recipe to follow later this week).


Maria said...

Um, is (was) that a mercury thermometer? I hope you cleaned it up properly!

Those look yummy! I don't usually enjoy fried stuff but I'd eat your latkes.

Jess said...

These look so good!
I don't think I've ever truly fried anything, either. I get nervous about hot oil. You should see me try to cook bacon . . . I'd do with with a ten food pole if I could.

Anyhow, I hope you weren't hurt by the thermometer! And I agree- the Jewish culture and foods are fascinating.

Lainey Seyler said...

don't quote me on this, but i don't think they make thermometers with mercury in them anymore.

i was a disaster that day. did i mention that i also broke a bottle of wine when it bumped the stairs? red wine everywhere.

and the oil didn't splatter as much as feared it might. i think the more oil that is in the skillet the less crazy popping that goes on.