The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah begins Sunday night and we're celebrating with lots of Latkes!
Ben Mims is food editor of Saveur, and he has different ways to make Latkes.
For more Hanukkah recipes, visit www.saveur.com
1 medium yellow onion
3 large yukon gold potatoes (about 2 1⁄2 lbs.), peeled
Kosher salt, to taste
6 tbsp. finely chopped chives
3 tbsp. plain matzo meal
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
Canola oil for frying
Sour cream or applesauce
1. Working over a bowl, grate some of the onion, followed by some of the potatoes, on the large-hole side of a box grater. Repeat until all the vegetables are used up.
2. Sprinkle mixture with salt and transfer it to a sieve set over a bowl. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from mixture, allowing it to collect in bottom of bowl. Transfer mixture to another bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap; set aside. Set reserved potato liquid aside to let the milky white starch settle. Pour off liquid from starch. Transfer starch to mixture along with the chives, matzo, eggs, and salt and pepper. Gently mix.
3. Pour enough oil into a skillet that it reaches a depth of 1⁄4"; heat over medium-high heat. Working in small batches, form mixture into balls, using about 1⁄4 cup of the mixture for each, and place them in the oil. Flatten each ball gently with a spatula to form 3"-4" pancakes. Fry, turning once, until golden brown, crisp, and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Transfer the pancakes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Serve the potato pancakes with sour cream or applesauce.
4 Yukon Gold potatoes (about 500g), peeled
1 cup (100g) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
3⁄8 cup sour cream (100g)
3⁄4 cup thinly-sliced chives (25g)
Salt, to taste
1 cup (150g) potato starch
1 cup (65g) instant mashed potato flakes
Neutral oil, for frying
1. Cut the potatoes into 1" pieces. Transfer to a pot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until just tender, about 25 minutes. Drain the potatoes and pass them through a ricer. Stir butter, sour cream, and chives into the potatoes. Season to taste with salt and mix well. Spread the potato puree in a 1⁄2" layer on a parchment-lined baking tray. Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes.
2. Use a 2 1⁄2"-diameter ring cutter to cut out circles from the chilled potato puree. Whisk the egg together with 5 tbsp. water, and pour into a shallow dish. Dust the potato circles in potato starch to coat. Then, drip the potato circles in egg wash, and dredge them in the instant mashed potato flakes. Dip the potato circles once more in the egg wash and again in the instant mashed potato flakes.
3. Heat frying oil to a depth of 1⁄2" in a deep skillet to 375°F. Fry the latkes a few at a time, until they turn brown and crispy, about 2 minutes on each side. Drain the fried latkes on paper towels, and serve them hot.
BREAKFAST LATKES WITH CHOPPED LIVER AND PICKLED ONIONS
Noah Bernamoff of Mile End Deli and Black Seed Bagels in New York City tops crispy latkes with chopped liver, fried duck eggs, and pickled onions.
For the pickled onions:
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz.) sugar
1/2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
¼ tsp. yellow mustard seeds
2 whole allspice berries
2 whole cloves
1 fresh bay leaf
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
For the chopped liver:
1/4 cup schmaltz or unsalted butter
1 1/4 lbs. cleaned chicken livers
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. quatre-épice (amazon.com)
3 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
2 scallions, finely chopped
For the latkes:
3 russet potatoes (2 lbs.), peeled
1 large yellow onion, peeled
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup matzo meal
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
8 fried duck or large chicken eggs
Finely chopped chives, to garnish
1. Make the pickled onions: In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, mustard seeds, allspice, cloves, and bay leaf to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove the pan from the heat, let cool, and then pour over the onion in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2. Make the chopped liver: In a 12-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons schmaltz over medium-high. Add the chicken livers, season with salt, and cook, turning once, until caramelized, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the livers to a food processor and return the skillet to the heat. Pour in the remaining 2 tablespoons schmaltz, add the onion, and cook, stirring, until lightly caramelized, 6 to 8 minutes. Scrape the onions and schmaltz into the food processor, along with the quatre-épice, eggs, and scallions, and pulse until the livers are finely chopped. Scrape the chopped liver into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and keep warm.
3. Make the latkes: Heat the oven to 250° and place a wire rack on a baking sheet. Using the grating blade of a food processor or a box grater, grate the potatoes and onion into a large bowl lined with a kitchen towel. Gather the sides of the towel and squeeze the potatoes and onion to remove as much liquid as possible. Transfer the potatoes and onions to a clean bowl and toss with the cream of tartar. Add the matzo meal, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup of the beaten eggs (discard the rest) and mix with your hands until evenly combined.
4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Using a 1/2-cup measure, place 2 mounds of the potato mixture in the skillet and flatten each into a 6-inch-wide, 1/4-inch-thick latke. Cook the latkes, turning once, until golden brown and crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer the latkes to the rack on the baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you fry the remaining latkes using the remaining 6 tablespoons oil. Place each latke on a serving plate and smear with some of the chopped liver. Top with a fried egg and some pickled onions. Sprinkle with more pepper and chives before serving.
ZUCCHINI LATKES WITH TOMATILLO-APPLE SALSA
For the Tomatillo-Apple Salsa:
5 tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed
2 tart green apples, cored and roughly chopped
1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
3 cilantros sprigs
1/4 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. agave nectar
For the Zucchini Latkes:
2 1/2 lbs. zucchinis, trimmed
1/2 cup matzo meal
2 large eggs
1/4 large yellow onion, grated
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1. For the Tomatillo-Apple Salsa: In a food processor or blender, pulse all the ingredients together until lightly chunky and season with salt.
2. For the Zuchini Latkes: Grate the zucchini into a medium bowl lined with a kitchen towel, then squeeze the towel to release the zucchini juices; discard liquid. Return the zucchini to the bowl and stir in the matzo meal, eggs, onion, and salt and mix until evenly combined.
3. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add 6 separate tablespoons of the zucchini mixture into the skillet and fry the latkes, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer the latkes to paper towels to absorb the excess oil, season with salt, and serve while hot with the tomatillo-apple salsa.