Sunday, 22 February 2015

More Kids in the Kitchen - Making Latkes

My elder son came home last week and told me that for their Religious Education home work the teacher had asked the boys to cook Jewish Latkes at home, and take a picture of themselves with the finished product.

Sure, let's do it. But what are they?

A quick search for recipes told me that latkes are a type of potato pancake, or hashbrown. They're generally made using potatoes, but just about any vegetable can be added for variety.

I decided to use this easy to follow recipe from BBC Food: Potato Latkes

You will need:
  • 1kg/2lb 4oz old or baking potatoes, peeled, soaked in cold water until needed
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 25g/1oz plain flour or fine matzoh meal
  • egg, beaten
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • olive or vegetable oil, for frying

Start by grating the potato and onion onto a clean board. Be very careful of fingers. While "See! This is why you need to be careful!"
Grated potato and onion
demonstrating to my son the correct way to hold a potato while using the grater, I managed to slice the first knuckle of my finger.

Place the grated potato and onion in a colander, or in a clean tea towel, and squeeze out as much of the moisture as possible. I prefer to use a clean towel for this. My sons were amazed at just how much liquid can come out of a few grated potatoes.

Mix the potato and onion with the egg, flour or matzo meal, and salt and pepper. Because I had matzo meal in the larder, I used that.

Latkes cooking in SKK Saute Pan
Heat the oil in a skillet over a medium heat. Place heaped spoonfuls of the potato mixture in the pan and flatten with the back of the spoon. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side, until they are golden brown.

Remove from the skillet and drain on kitchen paper. 

Note: It can be very tempting to continually lift up the edge just to check if it is brown enough yet. Don't! Resist the temptation and let the latkes cook for a few minutes before checking. Otherwise, every time you lift that edge, the underside will cool down. You'll end up with latkes that have absorbed more oil, aren't as crispy, and don't get quite as golden brown as you'd like. 

Remove from the skillet and drain on kitchen paper.

Traditionally, latkes are served hot with soured cream and apple sauce.

Son with his finished latkes.