Celebrate with Potato Latkes

This recipe for latkes (potato pancakes) is gonna make you plotz. Latkes, traditionally made for the Jewish holiday Hanukkah, are made from six simple ingredients — potatoes, onions, eggs, flour (or matzo meal), salt and oil. Making them isn't very complicated, but they do take a bit of time. Hanukkah is celebrated for eight nights (in honor of the miracle of oil burning for this long) and while, eating something fried for this many nights in a row, is usually a bad idea, we say, "Go for it!" Your bubby would want you to.

One of the key ingredients to making potatoes crispy when you fry them is to eliminate as much of the starch and water as possible. The simplest way to do this is by soaking your shredded potatoes in cold water (Using water to remove water? That's crazy!) for about half and hour. This allows the oil to cook the potato directly and not have to penetrate layers of moisture, resulting in soggy taters.

To make this recipe you will need:

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
1/4 cup onions or shallots
 finely chopped 2 eggs
lightly beaten
2 tablespoons of flour or matzo meal
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
vegetable oil for frying

First, grate your potatoes using the large side on a box grater. Place the potatoes in a bowl of ice water for 30 minutes. Remove potatoes from water and squeeze out as much excess liquid in a towel as possible. Let the starch settle to the bottom of the bowl. Pour off the water and add just the starch to a large mixing bowl with your potatoes. This way you just get the starch, without all the liquid. Add the eggs, flour and salt to the bowl and toss to combine. In a large, shallow frying pan heat enough oil to fill the pan 1/4 inch high.

Test the oil by dropping in a small amount of the mixture. If it immediately begins to bubble, your oil is ready for frying. To make latkes, drop about 2 tablespoons of the mixture into oil, being careful not to crowd your pan. Allow them to cook for 3-4 minutes per side, until they are golden brown. Remove from pan let drain on paper towels. If you're making a big batch, you can keep them warm in a 200 degree oven. Serve with sour cream and applesauce.