Sunday, December 18, 2011

L is for: Latkes with Homemade Applesauce

Potato Latkes with Homemade Applesauce
My co-worker and friend Randi has been one of my loyal blog followers from the beginning. Randi is Jewish, so with Hanukkah coming up this week, she passed along her family's latke recipe (a.k.a. potato pancakes).

I did a little research to prepare for this post and I learned that the reason latkes are eaten during this holiday is because they are fried in oil, which commemorates the miracle oil that burned for eight days. Even though I'm not Jewish, I'm honored Randi shared her recipe and tradition with me and was excited to make them. (And besides, I love both potatoes AND fried things, so it's a win-win).

Randi told me that when her family makes this, they make so many that they form an assembly line in the kitchen with "stations" to get them done more efficiently. Sometimes I wish I had an assembly line in my kitchen. Though, I guess there really isn't room in mine.


I cut Randi's recipe down since I wasn't cooking for a crowd. I only used four medium Russet potatoes, and it made approximately 10 latkes. Also, when I skimmed through the recipe the first time, I didn't notice that it called for a special potato pancake mix, so I just used regular pancake mix. (Sorry Randi!) Hopefully this doesn't compromise the authenticity of the latkes.


Peel onion and finely dice. I've also read several recipes that call for the onions to be grated. I'm going with the dice because that's what Randi's Auntie Caryn says to do, and I don't want to make Aunt Caryn mad at me. Mix together onion, eggs, pancake mix, and salt. Set aside while you get the potatoes ready.

If you have a food processor, I think this is the perfect and super efficient way of shredding the potatoes. Peel each potato and cut into chunks. Place in a bowl of water while you peel the rest so they don't oxidize. Using your food processor fitted with the grating disc, grate the potatoes. Squeeze shredded potatoes to remove any excess water. (If you don't have a food processor, you can also use the course side of a box grater).


Stir the potatoes into the onion/pancake mixture. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Everything I've read stresses that they must be served fresh and hot. Keeping the finished pancakes in a warm oven while you make the rest will ensure the first batches stay warm.


Heat oil until a small drop of batter will sizzle immediately. Working in batches, form mixture into small balls (about the size of golf balls) and squeeze out extra liquid. Drop into oil and gently press down with a spatula. Fry until golden brown. Flip, and repeat on the other side. (For crispy latkes, it's important to use very hot oil and to only turn once). Remove and transfer to the warm oven until ready to serve.


I also had some fresh apples from my CSA box, so I decided to make a simple applesauce to go along with the latkes. I would actually get this ready first so it can cook while you're getting the potatoes ready. Peel and core the apples, then slice into 1/4 inch-thick slices.


Place apples in a medium sauce pan along with  a cinnamon stick, zest of half of a lemon, and 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice or water. Cover and place over medium heat.


Cook until apples are soft and it has the consistency of apple sauce, about twenty minutes. Remove cinnamon stick, and stir.


Serve latkes hot with applesauce and/or sour cream. Oy vey! So delicious!
Potato Latkes with Homemade Applesauce

by Jaymee Sire
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Keywords: fry potato apple Hanukkah Jewish

Ingredients
    For the latkes:
    • 4 medium potatoes (I like Russets or Yukon Gold)
    • 1/4 cup pancake mix
    • 3 eggs, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 small onion
    For the applesauce:
    • 4 apples
    • zest of half of a lemon
    • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
    • cinnamon stick
    • sour cream
    Instructions
    For the latkes:
    1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. Peel onion and finely dice. Mix together onion, eggs, pancake mix, and salt. Set aside while you get the potatoes ready.
    3. Peel each potato and cut into chunks. Place in a bowl of water while you peel the rest so they don't oxidize. Using your food processor fitted with the grating disc, grate the potatoes. Squeeze shredded potatoes to remove any excess water. (If you don't have a food processor, you can also use the course side of a box grater). Stir the potatoes into the onion/pancake mixture.
    4. Heat oil until a small drop of batter will sizzle immediately. Working in batches, form potato mixture into small balls and squeeze out excess moisture. Drop into oil and gently press down with a spatula. Fry until golden brown. Flip, and repeat on the other side. (For crispy latkes, it's important to use very hot oil and to only turn once). Remove and transfer to the warm oven until ready to serve.

    For the applesauce:
    1. Peel and core the apples, then slice into 1/4 inch-thick clices. Place apples in a medium sauce pan along with a cinnamon stick, zest of half of a lemon, and 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice or water.
    2. Cover and place over medium heat. Cook until apples are soft and it has the consistency of apple sauce, about twenty minutes. Remove cinnamon stick, and stir. Serve latkes with applesauce and/or sour cream.
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    3 comments:

    1. Middle of the night & can't sleep. Somehow found your fabulous blog & feel like getting up & running to the store so I can make these NOW! Beautiful pictures!

      ReplyDelete
    2. Sally...I'm sorry you couldn't sleep, but I'm glad you found my blog! :) Thanks so much.

      ReplyDelete

    I would LOVE to hear what you think. I read every comment and get a little giddy when I see someone has left one on the blog. Thanks for stopping by!

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