Food and this time of year just getalong. As I ready myself for the cookie making extravaganza thatwill be Christmas, I still yearn for comfort foods equally associatedwith the month of December. These cold winter nights are just madefor customary cuisine like latkes (potato pancakes to theuninitiated).
Ever a favorite Hanukkah food, latkescan be made of many different ingredients. Originally, they wereactually made with cheese. Religious lore has it that Judith fedcheese to the leader of the Jewish enemies. The cheese made himthirsty, and to quench his thirst, he drank excessive amounts ofwine. After he was drunk, Judith cut off his head ... not veryappetizing, but it apparently did the trick in the day.
Today, latkes are often made withpotatoes – golden or sweet – and are fried in oil to remindHanukkah celebrants of the miracle of the single pitcher of oil thatshould have lasted only one day, but instead lasted eight days. Inthat time, new oil was prepared to supply oil for the menorah whichwas to have burned throughout the night each night. This festival ofthe miracle of oil, or light, is what we now know as Hanukkah, andcelebrates the re-dedication of the Temple after the revolt againstthe Greeks.
Traditional Golden Potato Latkes
2 cups grated gold or white potatoes(approximately 1 ½ lbs.)
1 small onion, grated
3 eggs, beaten
2 Tbs. Jules Gluten FreeAll Purpose Flour
1 tsp. sea salt
Pepper, to taste
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes or 1 ½tsp. fresh parsley
1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese(optional)
Vegetable oil for frying
Applesauce or sour cream as a condiment
Combine the grated potatoes and onionin a colander to allow the liquid to drain off into a bowl. As theliquid settles, the potato starch will sink to the bottom of thebowl. Pour some of the liquid off and set aside to add to the latkesif you need additional liquid.
Stir in the beaten egg with a fork,combining in a large bowl with the potatoes and onion.
In a separate bowl, whisk together thedry ingredients, including the parsley, and slowly add into thepotato mixture, stirring with a fork until combined. If the mixtureis too dry, slowly add in small amounts of the potato starch liquid. The final mixture should hold together in a pancake shape whenscooped into the hot oil.
Heat about 1 inch of oil in an electricor deep skillet. Bring the oil to between 375 – 400 F. Drop thepotato mixture into the hot oil by large tablespoon measures,flattening the pancake with the back of a spoon when in the oil. Fryeach side until golden brown, flipping with a slotted spatula.
Drain the latkes on a plate lined withpaper towels. Serve warm with applesauce or sour cream, if desired.The latkes can keep in a warm oven, or you may freeze them oncecooked, drained and cooled. To reheat, bake at 425 convection or 450static for 15 minutes, turning repeatedly until crispy and hot.