I grew up calling these potato pancakes and eating them for breakfast with a small puddle of applesauce. It wasn't until I was older that I learned of their other name -- latkes -- and found out that eating them for dinner is completely acceptable too. It doesn't matter what you call them or when you eat them, as long as you enjoy them!
Back when I made that incredible herb-crusted beef tenderloin, I also made my very first batch of potato latkes and served them as a side. The only disappointment I encountered was that the recipe didn't make more! Next time I'm definitely doubling it. I thought we'd have plenty of extra latkes to keep in the freezer -- but we barely had any leftover.
I'm sure they'll disappear just as quickly at your dinner table!
Potato Latkes (adapted from Entertaining from Cook's Illustrated, Holiday 2009)
Makes about 12 pancakes
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into eighths
1 large egg
4 medium scallions, white and green parts, minced
3 tablespoons minced parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup vegetable oil for frying
Using food processor with grating blade attached, grate potatoes.
Place half of the grated potatoes in a sieve set over a medium bowl. Switch to normal food processor blade and process remaining potatoes with onions until onions appear coarsely chopped.
Add potato and onion mixture to potatoes in sieve.
Press mixture against sieve and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Let potato liquid stand until starch settles to the bottom. Pour off liquid on top, leaving starch in the bowl.
Beat egg, potato mixture, scallions, parsley, salt, and pepper into starch.
Set up a sheet pan with a cooling rack inside it. Place three layers of paper towels on the cooling rack.
Heat oil (make sure it's about 1/4-inch deep) in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
Shape potato mixture into patties. Take about 1/4 cup (more or less depending what size latkes you want) of batter in your hands and pat into a disk while squeezing out excess moisture. Place patty in pan. Repeat until you have 5 patties in the pan. (That little one is my tester patty. I used it to make sure my oil was the right temperature. I think next time, I'll make all of the latkes that size though!)
Fry potato patties until they are golden brown on the bottoms and edges, about 3 minutes.
Flip and fry for about 3 more minutes.
Transfer patties to prepared paper towel-lined cooling rack to drain. If desired, sprinkle with salt while still hot.
Repeat until you have used up all of the potato mixture.
To store: If you don't plan to eat all of the latkes when you make them, you can let them cool and then place them in a freezer bag and freeze them until you want them. Reheat them in a 375 degree oven for 8 minutes on each side.
They came out crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside -- just the way I like them! The scallions and onions added a lot of flavor too. And don't they look pretty with the flecks of green from the parsley and scallions?
We ate almost all of these for dinner that night, and I was able to freeze four of them, which we reheated and ate the following night. They're best the day they're made, but the reheated ones were really good too. As I mentioned above, next time I'll make a double batch so I can fill the freezer with them and have them on hand to eat whenever we crave them!
What do you call these, and how/when do you eat them? Do you like them crunchy and hashbrown-like, or do you prefer them creamier (like those made with leftover mashed potatoes)?