We love crisp latkes, but it's easy to forget important details when you make them only once a year!
Grate potatoes by hand using the largest holes on the grater. A food processor can be used for the onions, place the onions in a colander in the sink to drain, use a wooden spoon to release as much liquid as you can from the onions. Transfer grated potatoes to a sieve and set over a large bowl to drain. Press down with a wooden spoon to release liquid into bowl. Use your hands to squeeze remaining moisture from potatoes, reserve only the white starchy liquid at the very bottom. Spread potatoes onto paper towels. Place paper towels on top. * It is important that the potatoes are dry or they won’t brown well and will be mushy.*
Put potatoes and onion in a large bowl. Mix in the reserved starchy liquid, eggs, flour, salt & pepper.
Heat ¼ inch of peanut oil in cast iron or other frying pan (not non-stick) over med-high heat. When oil is smoky, use a measuring cup or ice cream scoop to add ⅓ cup batter for each latke. Press down to flatten. Cook until golden brown – about 2-3 minutes, then turn over and cook another 2-3 minutes. Drain on paper towel and transfer to baking pan in 200 degree oven to keep warm.
Enjoy the latkes traditional style – with some applesauce and sour cream, or with a gourmet touch – with lox (smoked salmon), creme fraiche, and chives.
Recipe adapted from a 1999 LA Times article.