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A MARIO BATALI RECIPE

Mama Deb’s Best Potato Latkes

By Josh Laurano

Executive Chef of La Sirena

 

Post_Image_Holidaze 2014 _11_26_2014_12

Per my mom, the key to this recipe is all in the texture of the grated potatoes. Too coarse and the latke does not cook through, too fine and they become mushy inside. Too much matzoh meal and they are too heavy, too much water and they are soggy. I have done my best to give as close to exact a recipe as I can, however the key to making supremely light, crispy and delicious latke is by getting a feel for the texture and look of the batter.

 

Josh Laurano, Executive Chef of La Sirena


Ingredients

Makes about 25 to 30 latkes depending on size

6 Idaho potatoes (or about 2.5 pounds)

1 Spanish onion

2 to 3 eggs

¼ cup matzoh meal (you can also use all-purpose flour)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Peanut oil, for frying

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Apple sauce, for serving

Sour cream, for serving

Directions

Peel the potatoes into a bowl of cold water. Cut the potatoes into quarters so that they fit into the grater attachment of the food processor. You can grate them by hand, however you may donate a bit of knuckle skin to the batter. Grate the potatoes. Grate the onion. Then put small batches of the grated potatoes and onion back in the food processor, with the blade attachment, and briefly pulse.

 

Continue until all the potatoes and onions are pulsed. This is critical, as you want to chop the grated potatoes into a smaller pieces but not too much, so that it gets mushy. Drain well in a colander, pressing out the excess water.

 

Once the mixture is drained, place in a bowl and add the beaten eggs, matzoh meal, vegetable oil, salt and pepper. The batter should be loose enough that it easily falls off a spoon but not dense enough that you can form it into a ball. You can adjust the batter with more eggs or matzoh meal once you fry a few and see what the texture is like.

 

Preheat the peanut oil in a skillet (about ¼ to ½ inch oil should do) over medium-high heat, until it is very hot. Carefully place a large dollop of the latke mixture into the pan and slightly press it flat ((it should immediately begin to bubble once it touches the oil). Once the latke is golden brown on the bottom, flip over until equally crispy and cooked on the other side. We like them very brown and crispy—don’t undercook them.

 

Remove and drain on a paper towel. You may need to add more oil as you continue to fry. Eat while hot—they usually don’t make it to the table.

 

Serve with applesauce or sour cream. You can never make enough!

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