Holiday Meals Made Easy: Simple, No-Fail Latkes Recipe
By / October 05, 2010 - 0 comments
I’ve always loved latkes (fried potato pancakes) but my previous attempts at making them myself ended in disappointment—mine always seemed to fall apart.
Her latkes recipe is pretty straightforward to start with, but I decided to make it even easier by using Reser’s shredded hash brown potatoes rather than having to peel and shred the potatoes myself. I also went ahead and scaled her recipe smaller, as I didn’t need to feed so many people.
Let me just warn you right now: this easy latkes recipe may be simple, but they turn out addictively delicious. (I’m not kidding—I ate two before the rest of them even made it to the table!) They’re crispy, perfectly seasoned, and they hold up well the pan.
Here’s my adapted version of the original:
Easy Hanukkah Latke Recipe
- Two 20 oz. bag of refrigerated Reser’s Hash Brown Potatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 1 1/2 rounded tablespoon of jarred minced garlic
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup matzo meal
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Kosher salt
- Apple sauce for serving
Note: these directions have you mix half of the ingredients in a food processor, set them aside, and then mix the other half of the ingredients. Otherwise the ingredients clump together and it’s hard to get them mixed well.
Step 1: Place a couple of paper towels on a dinner plate. Pour one bag of the shredded potatoes onto the paper towels and then place two more paper towels over the top of the potatoes. Press down firmly for about ten seconds. Then, transfer to a bowl and repeat with the other bag of potatoes.
Step 2: Peel and quarter your onion, and then add it to a food processor. Pulse it a couple of times until it’s chopped. Set half aside. Then add half of the potatoes to the food processor. Pulse again until the potatoes and onions are finely chopped. (You may have to stir part way through.)
Step 3: Add about ¾ tablespoon of minced garlic and one of the eggs, and then pulse several times to mix.
Step 4: Sprinkle ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of matzo meal and a generous pinch of salt evenly over the food processor bowl and pulse to mix. Empty the latke mixture into a bowl and set aside.
Step 5: Repeat steps 1 – 4 with the other half of the ingredients.
Step 6: Heat enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of a heavy pan, about 1” deep. Make sure the oil is really hot—almost near smoking.
Step 7: While the oil is heating, scoop some of the potato mixture into a 1/3 cup measuring cup and pat it down slightly. Then, wiggle the cup so that the potato mixture falls down into the palm of your hand. Use your other palm to flatten the potato mixture down as much as you can without the pancake breaking apart.
Carefully slip the potato pancake into the hot oil. Repeat, carefully adding as many pancakes to the pan as you can without crowding them. Cook each pancake until you see the edges turn golden brown, and then carefully turn them over and cook the other sides. When both sides are brown, remove the latkes from the pan and drain on paper towels.
Serve with a sprinkle of kosher salt and applesauce.
If you have trouble mixing your ingredients, try mixing them in smaller batches. (Just scoop some out of the food processor bowl and set aside if need be.)
Also, the latkes cook really fast—in fact, my first was ready to flip by the time I had added two or three other pancakes to the pan. Make sure to keep an eye on them.
You may even need to turn your burner heat down a little once you get the latkes cooking. You don’t want to turn it down very much if you don’t have to, because really hot oil keeps fried food from turning limp, but you don’t want them burning as soon as they hit the pan, either.
If that happens, just turn the burner heat down and then eat the evidence. It will still be yummy.