Recipe: Potato Latkes

Potato Latkes, draining -

I was going to make you guess what’s in the photo above, but the post’s headline gives it away. Darn you, Google, and your search engine demands. If you hover your cursor over the image, you will know, these golden fritters are potato latkes. I made a big batch after the recent potato-fueled food fight. I’d like to tell you this was culinary revenge, a well-thought out, two-pronged political move to advocate potato farmers while sticking it to the makers of Fake Food in a Canister. But to be honest, it was simply a quick way to satisfy my stomach. Thinking about potatoes all day left me  hungry — for  potatoes.

So, with little more than four medium spuds and an onion on hand, I cooked the only thing I could think of that used these ingredients. Latkes — and lots of them — was the result.

Wanting to streamline the process, I started my search for quick-cook latkes with Norene Gilletz. She knows her way around a food processor, and since I recently bought one and am still a little scared of it, I figured her updated Food Processor Bible would be a good place to start. I got no further than her recipe for Easy Potato Latkes.

She gives a couple of variations, but I went for the “Lacy Latkes” which take an extra step but are worth it. Unlike classic latkes which are made with grated potatoes, these are grated then lightly pureed to produce a tender, quick-cook pancake. And when you’re hungry and faced with the smell of cooking latkes, every minute counts.

If you’re as impatient as I am, you’re wishing I’d just get on with things. Okay. Without fruther ado, here’s the recipe. You’ve earned it.

Potato Latkes, stacked --

Easy Potato Latkes
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Cuisine: Jewish
Prep / inactive time: 
Cook / active time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Makes 2 dozen
I use Idaho (russet) potatoes, but some cooks prefer Yukon Golds or red-skinned potatoes. Serve latkes with applesauce or sour cream. For Passover, use matzo meal instead of flour.
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled or scrubbed
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 eggs (or 1 egg plus 2 egg whites)
  • ⅓ cup flour or matzo meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup oil (approximately)
  1. In a food processor fitted with grating blade, grate potatoes, using light pressure. Transfer potatoes to a colander, rinse them under cold water then drain thoroughly.
  2. Insert steel blade. Process onion until minced. Add grated potatoes, eggs, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Process with 2 or 3 very quick on/off pulses, just until combined. Do not overprocess.
  4. Heat 2 tsp oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Drop potato mixture into hot oil by large spoonfuls to form pancakes. Brown well on both sides. (Don't overcrowd the pan.) Drain on paper towels.
  5. Add additional oil to pan as needed. Stir batter before cooking each new batch.
  6. Latkes can be placed on a baking sheet and kept warm in a 250°F oven.
  7. Quick Notes
  8. Freezing and reheating latkes: To save space when freezing or reheating latkes, stand them upright in a loaf pan. Reheat, uncovered, in preheated 400°F oven for about 10 minutes.
Freezing and reheating latkes: To save space when freezing or reheating latkes, stand them upright in a loaf pan. Reheat, uncovered, in preheated 400°F oven for about 10 minutes.

Excerpt printed with permission from The New Food Processor Bible: More than 600 Fast and Fabulous Recipes by Norene Gilletz. Published by Whitecap Books © 2011.

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0 Responses to Recipe: Potato Latkes

  1. Robin Smart April 20, 2011 at 9:00 pm #

    Wow – I hope there are some left. I could swing by Thursday at about 3pm for a quick taste test.

    • Charmian Christie April 26, 2011 at 10:39 am #

      For those who care to know, Robin swung by and ate what was left of my latkes.

      Okay, we shared. I simply reheated them in a frying pan. It took all of 2 minutes and they were delicious, especially with sour cream and freshly cracked pepper.

  2. Ari's simple cake recipes April 21, 2011 at 4:49 am #

    my mom used to make me potato latkes when I was little, lovely memories.

    • Charmian Christie April 26, 2011 at 10:41 am #

      I bet they were delicious. I have many kitchen memories from childhood and it seems the simplest foods resonate the strongest.

  3. Norene Gilletz April 22, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    Charmian, thanks so much for the wonderful review of The NEW Food Processor Bible: 30th Anniversary Edition! Lacy latkes are crispy and lacy, tender and tasty. It’s hard to believe that something as simple as a potato can taste so terrific!

    Norene Gilletz, cookbook author – my world revolves around food!

    • Charmian Christie April 26, 2011 at 10:42 am #

      Thank YOU for the great recipe. I read so many latke recipes that seemed overly complex or time consuming. This was a snap. I loved that they cooked quickly without sacrificing the texture.

  4. Lana April 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    I read the title, but if I didn’t, I would have thought those were potato croquettes, which my mom made from leftover mashed potatoes.
    I don”t have a food-processor (I know, poor me:( ), and I’ll have to wait to make these, but love the simplicity of the preparation.
    Lana recently posted…It Puts the Eggs in the Basket It Does This Whenever It’s Told!My Profile

    • Charmian Christie May 1, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

      Hmm. I thought I’d replied to his already. Sorry for being so late.

      Love the idea of using leftover mashed potatoes for croquettes.

      You don’t HAVE to have a food processor to make latkes (obviously, latkes have been around long before this kitchen machine) but it does make it easier. If you need a nudge, I went for years without a food processor and when I finally decided to get one, found it for half price — was that a sign or what? I bet there’s a half price sale out there with your name on it :-)

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