Inspired by a Veganomicon recipe, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Sue, our graphics specialist, and her family swear by this simple, vegan latke recipe.
2 ½ lbs peeled russet potatoes
2 small onions or one large one (or more depending on how onion-y you like things)
½ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt (or more depending on how salty you like things)
1 teaspoon pepper
2 cups matzo meal
Vegetable oil for frying
Grate the potatoes with a food processor or box grater. Dice or grate the onions. Recipes usually say to dice them, but I grate them. It’s easier.
Use your hands to mix the potatoes and onions with the cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, and matzo meal. Put the mixture aside for about 10 minutes until it gets sticky and there’s visible liquid.
Now for the fun part! Heat vegetable oil in a cast iron pan, over medium-high heat. The oil is hot enough when you throw a bit of the latke batter in and it sizzles. There should be enough oil in the pan for the latkes to be immersed on one side.
Make patties! Remember these are patties not hash browns. Or don’t if you like hash browns better. But latkes are traditionally patties. Use wet hands when you make the patties so the patties don’t sick to your hands. I like thin latkes; some people like thick ones. Up to you.
Put the latkes in the oil! Have paper towels ready, a lot of paper towels. After frying, the latkes need to drain on the paper towels. They will be more oily than you can believe.
I can’t tell you how long to fry them, because that is entirely personal taste, depending on how thick or thin, big or small, crispy or underdone you like your latkes. It also depends on how hot your oil is and how big your pan is. I usually start with one latke as a test – like you would with pancakes. Then you can cook as many as can fit in your pan with enough room around each one to individually fry and not touch each other.
Flip the latkes, after probably 3-4 minutes and cook for another 3-4 minutes, but again, this is a matter of personal taste and you have to see what you like!
Drain the latkes on the paper towels. Serve them immediately, with applesauce and sour cream. You can keep them warm in the oven, but they are best when you feed them to people as soon as they cool slightly.
Keywords: Hanukkah, Latkes