Nac Mac Vegan: adventures in rabbit food

11/12/2009

Latkes

Filed under: Jewish, Recipes and techniques — Tags: , , , , — Feòrag @ 12:53

Latkes in the pan

Latkes in progress.

It is, apparently, That Time of Year and this morning Neil Gaiman lamented on Twitter Alas I will not get to cook latkes until I get home on Weds, when I’ll try to solve the world latke shortage singlehandedly. I don’t have that problem, and they’re one of my partner’s favourite comfort foods. They’re a complete pain if you don’t have a food processor with a grater attachment, but that’s what spouses are for! Most recipes contain egg, but it’s a really straightforward substitution. I do not bother peeling the potatoes and use wholemeal flour, but still, latkes are only good for your mental health.

3 or 4 medium or large potatoes (you need about half a kilo, or just over a pound in old money)
1 medium onion
2 tbl plain wholemeal flour
2 tbl gram flour (chick pea flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
black pepper to taste
frying oil

Grate the potatoes reasonably finely into a bowl – I used a Microplane “coarse” grater for this (or rather, my partner is volunteered for this task). Do not discard the liquid that comes off. Grate or mince the onion and add to the potato. I also mince the bits of potato that didn’t get grated and add that to the mixture. Mix the flours, sugar and pepper together well, making sure to be rid of all the lumps, then add to the potato and onion. Mix it all up well.

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Traditionally olive oil is used, allegedly in memory of the miracle at the centre of Chanukah – the day’s oil lasting 8 days. My Reform mother-in-law uses butter, (she also makes her latkes quite coarse and large, more like hash browns – heretic!); I use a blend of olive oil and margarine because it tastes good.

Drop tablespoonsful of the mixture into the oil — you should get four in an average pan — and cook the latkes over a low to medium heat until they are a lovely golden colour. Remove, drain and eat promptly. The quantities given make about 12 – you will probably need to stir the mix again between batches.

Appelmoes (UK English seems to lack a word for this stuff, but Americans call it “applesauce”. I mostly see it in the Netherlands though, where it’s really popular, and the Dutch word is the one I know) is a traditional accompaniment. I like them with a bit of black pepper, and yuzu is really good on latkes. Himself is trying to convince me that Omnomnomnom is some kind of traditional invocation, but I don’t believe him.

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