This take on potato pancakes is a dish that people grow up eating at big family meals, especially during the festival of Hanukkah. I love serving this dish with applesauce and sour cream.
Old Fashioned Potato Latkes
- 5 large russet potatoes, about 2-1/2 lbs total
- 4 scallions, chopped fine
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour or more as needed
- 2-3 teaspoons salt (potatoes need a lot!)
- freshly ground pepper
- vegetable oil for frying
- sour cream for serving
- Peel the potatoes and grate them on the large holes of a hand-held grater. Transfer them to a sieve set over a bowl and, using your hands or the back of a wooden spoon, press out as much moisture as you can. Starch will collect under the potato water. Some cooks pour off the water and add the starch back to the potatoes, as a binder.
- Grate the onion on the same grater and combine it with the potato in a clean bowl. Add the potato starch, if you like.
- Beat the eggs in a small bowl. Add them to the potatoes, then stir in enough flour to make a light batter.
- Add the salt and the pepper to taste. Fry a nugget of the potato mixture, then taste it to make sure there’s enough salt.
- In a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, warm enough oil to come 1/8 to 1/4 inch up the sides of the pan. It should be good and hot but not smoking.
- Drop the batter by tablespoonfuls or 1/4 cupfuls into the hot oil. Gently press on them to flatten them out. Don’t crowd the pan or the latkes will become soggy. Fry until golden on the bottom, about 3 minutes, then turn and brown the second side.
- Remove to paper towels to drain briefly, then serve as soon as you can, with the applesauce and sour cream.