Classic Potato Latkes

From the New York Times, Melissa Clark; Collected by Debra Stoleroff

Last year I went over to my friend Hannah’s house to borrow a stroller for my niece. When I got there Hannah was in the middle cooking potato latkes. She pulled one out of the pan, threw it onto a paper towel to soak up the grease and handed it to me. I don’t know if it was because the pancake was hot and just out of the pan, but it was the best potato pancake I have ever had. Of course I asked for the recipe. Here it is — straight from the New York Times and someone named Melissa Clark.

Yield: About 3 dozen

Ingredients

potato latkes
  • 2 large Russet potatoes (about 1 pound), scrubbed and cut lengthwise into quarters
  • 1 large onion (8 ounces), peeled and cut into quarters
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon fine sea salt), plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Safflower or other oil, for frying

Preparation

  1. Using a food processor with a coarse grating disc, grate the potatoes and onion. Transfer the mixture to a clean dish towel. Squeeze and wring out as much of the liquid as possible.
  2. Working quickly, transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the eggs, flour, salt, baking powder and pepper, and mix until the flour is absorbed.
  3. Into a medium, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat, pour about 1/4 inch of the oil. Once the oil is hot (a drop of batter placed in the pan should sizzle), drop heaping tablespoons of the batter into the hot pan, cooking in batches. Use a spatula to flatten and shape the drops into discs. When the edges of the latkes are brown and crispy, about 5 minutes, flip. Cook until the second side is deeply browned, about another 5 minutes. Transfer the latkes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and sprinkle with salt while still warm. Repeat with the remaining batter.

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