Wow. I started this post in December…but travels to Cambodia and Thailand followed immediately by the start of a new job results in…this.
A friend’s parents host a party every year dubbed “Vodkas and Latkes.” As we are not close enough for an invite, we thought we’d make some latkes and chug some vodkas on our own. Except we don’t keep vodka around so it turned into latkes and whiskey, which just isn’t as fun to say.
Anyway, what’s not to like about potato pancakes? (and whiskey!) I was initially a bit worried about the amount of onions in the recipe, but they cook down to add sweetness to the pancake. Maybe a little taboo, but mine were fried in bacon fat (I didn’t have the traditional schmaltz) and topped with sour cream and herring roe from Ikea. I don’t recommend the roe from Ikea–I’d rather eat the Japanese version–but it made for a pretty picture.
If you have a food processor, prep is pretty quick. Frying is always a mess at my house, though. You can also make these into a larger size and top with a fried egg (as she does in the Smitten Kitchen cookbook). Or you can serve this under a meat…so many things to do with a potato pancake! Certainly not a light food, but definitely tasty.
Latkes (from Smitten Kitchen)
- 1 large russet potato (~1 pound), peeled
- 1 small onion
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp table salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 large egg
- bacon fat, schmaltz or oil for frying
NOTE: If you want to make this for larger groups, you can keep them warm in a 250F oven as you fry in batches. You can even leave them in the fridge for a few days or the freezer for a few weeks!
- In a food processor, shred the potato and onion. Or you can use a mandoline or grater. Wrap in cheesecloth and squeeze as much water out as you can. Let stand for 2 minutes and squeeze again.
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and egg. Stir in potato & onions until pieces are evenly coated.
- In a cast iron skillet, heat 2 Tbsp oil until hot. Drop in packed teaspoons of potato mixture and flatten with the back of a spoon. Cook over medium-high heat until edges are golden. Flip & cook until the other side is also golden (~60-90 seconds on each side). Drain on paper towels. Keep frying and adding oil as needed.