Potato Pancakes [Latkes]
My formula is roughly this: a one-pound russet or baking potato to one small onion, a large egg, quarter-cup of flour, teaspoon of salt and a hefty pinch of black pepper. How many you yield has to do with how big you make them; I aim for small ones (approximately three inches across) and get about a dozen per batch.
But, if you’re not a formula person, here is a more official-like recipe:
- 1 large baking potato (1 pound), peeled
- 1 small onion (4 ounces), peeled
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Peanut oil, for frying
In a food processor or on a box grater, coarsely shred the potato and onion. For longer strands, lay the potato sideways in the chute of your food processor. Transfer to a colander or wrap in a cheesecloth sling, and squeeze as dry as possible. Let stand for 2 minutes, then squeeze dry again.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, egg, salt and pepper together. Stir in the potato onion mixture until all pieces are evenly coated.
In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until shimmering. Drop packed teaspoons of the potato mixture into the skillet and flatten them with the back of a spoon. Cook the latkes over moderately high heat until the edges are golden, about 1 1/2 minutes; flip and cook until golden on the bottom, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.
Do ahead: Latkes are a do-ahead-er’s dream. You can also keep latkes warm in the oven for an hour or more, if you’re waiting for stragglers to arrive. Cooked, they keep well in the fridge for a day or two, or in the freezer, well wrapped, for up to two weeks. Reheat them in a single layer on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven until they’re crisp again. Bonus: If you undercooked them a bit or didn’t get the browning on them you’d hoped for, you can compensate for this in the oven.