Latkes have soul, particularly this classic version from cookbook author Phyllis Glazer, made from grated potatoes, eggs and matzo meal and not much else. It's adapted from "The Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking."
Classic potato latkes is one of the favorite recipes we've collected in our "Los Angeles Times Holiday Handbook." The book shares more than 110 seasonal recipes to help you celebrate Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year's. We’ve also updated last year's "Los Angeles Times Holiday Cookies," so it now includes 65 recipes from a wide range of sources, including world-famous pastry chefs and home cooks.
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Classic potato latkes
Total time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8 to 12 (makes 2 to 2½ dozen latkes)
Note: Adapted from "The Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking" by Phyllis Glazer with Miriyam Glazer.
2 pounds boiling potatoes, peeled
2 large onions (1 pound), halved crosswise
4 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup matzo meal
1/2 cup vegetable or olive oil, or a blend of the two, divided
1. Grate the potatoes on the medium or fine side of a grater and place in a fine wire-mesh strainer suspended over a bowl. Grate the onion on the medium side of the grater and place in a separate strainer. Let both stand 10 minutes to drain. Press down gently to extract as much moisture as possible.
2. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl, add the grated onion, beaten eggs, salt and pepper, and mix well. Fold in the matzo meal. Let stand for 10 minutes, while heating one-fourth cup oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
3. Scoop up one heaping tablespoon of the mixture and place it in the hot oil. Press down gently with the back of a spoon to flatten and form the latke. Repeat to form 4 to 5 latkes, depending on the size of pan, leaving space between them to facilitate turning.
4. Fry on medium heat until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the latkes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat until all the latkes are cooked, adding additional oil as necessary for frying. Serve warm.
Each of 12 servings: 225 calories; 5 grams protein; 27 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 11 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 71 mg. cholesterol; 416 mg. sodium.