Let's talk about latkes. Crispy, crackling golden clouds of starchy goodness concealing a creamy, potato-and-onion center. Who DOESN'T love these? Although I didn't grow up with them as a traditional holiday treat, I actually feel a bit more free to mess around with the classic recipe than I would if my family were Jewish (no one wants to incur the wrath of elder relatives in the kitchen). I have made potato pancakes with sweet potatoes, apples, zucchini and kale, I've spiked them with cumin, adobo and cinnamon, I've served them with any number of dipping sauces and drizzles (pro tip: all AMAZING...you can't go wrong with a latke!). But even after all this experimentation, my favorite version is the classic, O.G. potato latke....golden, crisp, savory and filling.
I’ve adapted these from a classic recipe by Melissa Clark, but there are a few subtle tweaks that are all mine. Russets were called for in the original recipe, but I find they lead to a kind of doughy pancake, so I prefer something firmer and waxier like a Yukon Gold. Make sure to use a pretty liberal hand with that kosher salt (I mean, fried potatoes and salt are BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, so...), and always serve these with something cool & creamy on the side. These would be a fantastic addition to your holiday table!
Holiday Potato Latkes(slightly adapted from the classic NYT recipe)
Makes: About 18 latkes
- 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, well scrubbed
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable (or other neutral, high-temperature) oil
- Sour cream, Greek yogurt, applesauce, chutney, etc for serving
- Heat oven to 200 degrees.
- Using the large holes of a box grater (or a food processor with a grating disc), shred the potatoes and set aside in a bowl.
- Working in batches, squeeze handfuls of potato until all the liquid is extracted, then lay them on paper towels to dry even more. Wipe out bowl, return potato shreds and add sliced onion.
- Add beaten egg, flour, salt, baking powder and pepper, stir with a fork until thoroughly mixed.
- Coat the bottom of a heavy skillet (cast iron is great for this) with oil to about 1/4" depth, heat to medium high. Once oil is hot (test by dropping a few shreds of potato and watching for it to sizzle), drop heaping scoops (about two tablespoons each) of potato mixture into pan.
- Flatten each scoop gently with the back of a fork to form a pancake. Cook until deep golden brown on each side, flipping once.
- Transfer latkes to a paper towel lined plate, sprinkle with more kosher salt, keep warm in preheated oven until time to serve.
- Serve hot, with a side of sour cream, full-fat Greek yogurt, applesauce, chutney, or anything else you like!