Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Latke or the "classic" potato pancake

crispy on the out side and creamy in the middle this classic dish accompanies many meals well and also stands on it's own served with apple sauce and sour cream.


3 medium sized potatoes (I used yukon gold potatoes but for a crispier latke use russet potatoes as they contain less starch)

about a 1/4 cup of AP flour (all purpose but really any flour will work for this)

1 large whole egg

1/2 medium spanish onion

salt and pepper

1 or 2 cups of fat for frying (canola or corn oil is fine for this but i prefer to use clarified butter, duck fat or lard)


first peel your potatoes like so:

I prefer this style of swiss peeler for all my peeling needs:

next shred the potato on a common cheese grater (i prefer the box type grater but any thing will work):

now working in small batches squeeze the juice out of the potato and set aside when your done you should have dry balls of shredded potato and a good amount of liquid in the bowl:

discard the liquid and place the flour back in the bowl with the egg, flour, chopped onion and salt and pepper:

Here is a technique video on how to properly dice and onion. Be careful and try not to cut your hand off like i almost did with the first horizontal cut ;)

next mix all the ingredients together in the bowl making sure every thing is well homogenized.

put your lard in a shallow non stick saute pan and heat until it just reaches the smoke point (this means that the fat has the faintest wisp of smoke rising up from it) then add balls of the potato mixture to the pan and smash flat with the back of a spoon. at this point IMMEDIATELY lower the flame to a medium heat setting and allow the pancake to fry on one side until golden brown

flip over and fry on the other side until the same color has been achieved. If your pancakes are particularly thick you can place them in a 350 degree oven after flipping for 5 minutes or so. Just make sure you place them on the FLOOR of the oven. This allows for a more direct heat transfer to the pan and keeps the oil at the right temperature so your pancakes don't end up soaking up too much fat.

once done remove from the pan and drain on a rack seasoning with more salt and pepper. It's important to drain fried foods on a rack and not on paper towels. Draining on towels means your food will sit in the excess grease and reabsorb it as it cools leaving you with a soggy product. When your finished your pancakes should be delicious and crispy and look something like this:

Thanks for reading!

Next up by popular demand is a knife sharpening tutorial! Keep the requests coming and expect to see more recipes from my home kitchen up soon!

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