Potato pancakes or latkes are a traditional Jewish dish, enjoyed especially during the festival of Hanukkah. This is a reposting of an Earth Eats recipe from 2010.
- 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 to 3 teaspoons salt (potatoes need a lot)
- freshly ground pepper
- oil for frying (peanut oil works well)
- applesauce and 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.
- Combine the chopped scallions with the potato in a clean bowl. Add the liquid 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.
- 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.
- Fry a nugget of the potato mixture, then taste it to make sure there’s enough salt.
- 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 possible, with the applesauce and sour cream.