the gregarious homebody

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Even My Camera Has a Layer of Oil On It

 Hey kids!
It's time to celebrate the oiling of the colon!  
It's Hanukkah!

Seriously, I do this every year.  I make a ton of latkes the week before our annual Hanukkah Open House and I eat about a hundred of them while I'm making them until I make myself, well, sick (ifyaknowwhatImean).  

They are so delicious though.  Crispy around the edges, lacy and weirdly crablike in appearance, fluffy creamy and mashed potato-y in the middle....yum....

The recipe I'm going to share is the one I make all the time.  I see no reason to fiddle around with others.  It may seem like extra work if you're accustomed to making the regular shredded raw potato latke but it's the only way to get the crispy and fluffy combination that I love so much (you will too!). 
See?  Fluffy AND crispy!

I've posted the original recipe which I noted some time ago makes 6 dozen mini latkes (cocktail size--really mini) but I always triple it and get a couple pans of oil going to knock out a load of them.  I then *freeze them in a single layer on the pan they've been draining on and finally dump them into a plastic container.  The day of the party I take them out of the freezer and hour before and then recrisp them at about 300 degrees.  
After they've cooled to room temp, put them in the freezer just like this until they're solid

*IMPORTANT POINT: If you don't freeze them and instead make them fresh the day of your party your house will smell like Burger King.  AND NOT IN A GOOD WAY.  Reheating them during the party only makes them release a bit of their delicious scent--it won't be overpowering--and your guest will thank you for not sending them in their french fry-scented holiday sweaters.  Seriously, don't give people any more reasons for hating the Jews!

New-Age Latkes

1 1/2-1 3/4 pound large red potatoes, whole (don't peel!)
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
4 eggs
2 heaping tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Black pepper, to taste
 About a quart of vegetable or canola oil (oy!)
  1. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil on the stove.  When it comes to a boil, set a timer for 10 minutes and continue boiling.
  2. Drain pot in colander and put potatoes back into the pot, covering with cold water.  Drain again and repeat with the cold water.  Let potatoes sit in cold water for 5 minutes.
  3. Place your pan or pans over medium high heat and pour in about 2 inches of oil. Ideally, it should heat to 365 degrees, but I can't find my candy thermometer so I fry a cube of bread to see when it's ready (the bread immediately starts to brown when it's ready.) I LOVE my cast iron pan for this.  It holds the heat so well.  My other pan fluctuates in heat when I add the latke batter, which makes them greasier.  I also love that HH bought that pan for me at a garage sale for 25 cents.  Score!
  4. Next, drain and dry the potatoes.  Really.  Put each of them on a paper towel and dry them off lovingly and thoroughly .
  5. Now, either shred potatoes and onions in food processor using a shredding disc (the way I do it) or shred by hand into a large bowl.  Add eggs, flour, salt, baking powder, and pepper. Mix well (I use my hands) and taste to correct seasoning (don't be a panty-waist--the raw egg WILL NOT KILL YOU).
  6. Time to fry!  Drop a teaspoon-ful if you want minis.  Go larger if you want them, well, larger.  The important thing is to let them go for a bit and not mess with them.  When you can see the edges begin to brown, turn them with a pair of tongs.  If you're going to freeze and reheat them (and you are, RIGHT??), don't cook them for more than a minute or two on the other side.  You want them light brown so that they don't burn when you reheat.
  7. Drain on paper towel-lined cookie sheets.  I put a layer of newspaper under my paper towels.  I think it helps. 
  8. Freeze in a single layer or eat right now until you feel the need to, ahem, stop.


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