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  • Latke-arama

    Post #1 - December 29th, 2005, 5:43 pm
    Post #1 - December 29th, 2005, 5:43 pm Post #1 - December 29th, 2005, 5:43 pm
    Tonight is the small-scale clan Hanukkah gathering - only 12 of us (this house's 4, my parents, my brother and his two kids, my sister, her husband, and Thing1's girlfriend) -- the big clan (over 35 people) can't find a date to get together until the end of January (snowbird infestation).

    I've been dreaming of latke's all week: gas stations with big LED signs seem to be saying "MOCHA LATKE" (bleah). Finally, I've made them, they're in the oven awaiting the guests now.

    Basic recipe: per pound of potatoes (and at least 1/2lb per person): 1/2-1/3 medium onion, 1tbs flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 egg, a grind or two of black pepper (optional).

    Shred potatoes and onion in food processor. Optionally, run some of the shreds in the processor again, either through the feed tube to shred again, or with the steel blade.

    Squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the potatoes and onions before adding the other ingredients.

    Heat crisco in a large frypan on medium-high. You don't want it smoking, but hot is good, and you want more than a mere film on the bottom. It'll take a batch or two to get the balance right, and as you get to the bottom of your batter bowl, characteristics of the batter change too, so don't sweat it, just keep frying. A large serving spoonful, pressed down, should make a 3-4" diameter pancake about 1/4" thick.

    You'll end up using nearly 1/2 lb of crisco per pound of potatoes. Makes the whole house shine. Drain on paper towels, then transfer to a foil-lined cookie sheet in a warm oven.

    Serve with sour cream XOR apple sauce.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #2 - December 29th, 2005, 5:47 pm
    Post #2 - December 29th, 2005, 5:47 pm Post #2 - December 29th, 2005, 5:47 pm
    XOR! Ha.

    I fry my latkes in lard. Well, no, I don't, I use peanut oil, but still.

    I also like to add some scallion or green onion into the mix.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #3 - December 29th, 2005, 5:57 pm
    Post #3 - December 29th, 2005, 5:57 pm Post #3 - December 29th, 2005, 5:57 pm
    Joel,

    I prefer matzo meal over flour, fry in a mix of peanut and olive oil (not extra virgin), firmly believe in hand grating as opposed to food processor and don't use baking powder.

    But, even though we differ a bit on technique, I would be happy, no, ecstatic, to eat a dozen or two of your latkes.

    Hummmmmm, latkes.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #4 - December 30th, 2005, 2:49 pm
    Post #4 - December 30th, 2005, 2:49 pm Post #4 - December 30th, 2005, 2:49 pm
    Made my first batch of the year last Sun. It was a beautiful thing: the result of an ongoing debate between me (hand-grating, grandma style), my wife ("cuisine art's fine"), my good friend (the other Jew in the room -- we both married shiksas), and his wife (using the coarse side of the grater).

    Mixed all these together with me improvising amounts of egg and motzoh meal. Drained well, but not quite as well as I should have. Peanut oil good and hot.

    Delicious result. Fabulous crunch and texture. Applesauce and sour cream n the side. No onion involved, not out of strong credo, but just because my grandmother didn't, so I haven't.

    FWIW a nice German Riesling - slightly sweet- paired terrifically with it. Enough acid to cut the sour cream and oil. Sweetness that complemented the applesauce. Yum.
    "Strange how potent cheap music is."
  • Post #5 - December 30th, 2005, 5:22 pm
    Post #5 - December 30th, 2005, 5:22 pm Post #5 - December 30th, 2005, 5:22 pm
    The Lovely Donna made a batch a the other evening. Hand grated golden potatoes, with onion, matzo meal, and fried in peanut oil.

    I love 'em sprinkled heavily with sugar which I understand points to Polish heritage.

    :twisted:
  • Post #6 - December 31st, 2005, 3:23 pm
    Post #6 - December 31st, 2005, 3:23 pm Post #6 - December 31st, 2005, 3:23 pm
    JoelF wrote:Shred potatoes and onion in food processor. Optionally, run some of the shreds in the processor again, either through the feed tube to shred again, or with the steel blade.

    I posted some alternative latke recipes.

    However, my potato latke recipe differs from this, too. I don't shred the potatoes but grate them with the onion into a kind of mush (it looks sort of like oatmeal). This was once done on the finest side of a box grater, but now I do it (very carefully) with the steel blade of the food processor. I let the mush stand about 10 minutes and then pour off the liquid that's risen to the top.

    Yes, flour, baking powder, and peanut oil for frying. Applesauce with meat meals, sour cream with dairy meals.
  • Post #7 - January 6th, 2006, 9:47 pm
    Post #7 - January 6th, 2006, 9:47 pm Post #7 - January 6th, 2006, 9:47 pm
    LTH,

    Here's the problem with latkes, when you are the one making them you're no longer hungry when it's time to sit down to dinner. :)

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #8 - December 16th, 2014, 5:09 pm
    Post #8 - December 16th, 2014, 5:09 pm Post #8 - December 16th, 2014, 5:09 pm
    Modernist (Cuisine) Latkes in Saveur magazine:

    INGREDIENTS
    4 Yukon Gold potatoes (about 500g), peeled
    1 cup (100g) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
    ⅜ cup sour cream (100g)
    ¾ cup thinly-sliced chives (25g)
    Salt, to taste
    1 egg
    1 cup (150g) potato starch
    1 cup (65g) instant mashed potato flakes
    Neutral oil, for frying

    Go to the link for the method.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #9 - December 16th, 2014, 5:59 pm
    Post #9 - December 16th, 2014, 5:59 pm Post #9 - December 16th, 2014, 5:59 pm
    Hand-grating and knuckle-bleeding have long been an essential part of the latke ritual in our family ... until last week. I received this electric grater from an evil relative. My life will never be the same:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004JK8TLO

    I have no idea how many potatoes I've run through this thing, but I've been making the best potato pancakes (and potato kugel) I have ever eaten. Forget about any other way of grating potatoes. Really well-built and designed and easy to use and clean. Made in Lithuania and comes with an entertaining manual that was translated to English by someone who may have taken a year of high-school English ("This domestic electric vegetable grater is a dream of every goodwife.")

    BTW, the U.S. distributor is in Chicago: http://domitp.com/

    I'm glad this was a gift, because I doubt I would spend $160 on an electric potato grater. Yeah, I probably would - it's that good and I love latkes that much.
  • Post #10 - December 16th, 2014, 6:07 pm
    Post #10 - December 16th, 2014, 6:07 pm Post #10 - December 16th, 2014, 6:07 pm
    Bill,

    If that manual is short, why not scan and post. It sounds like a hoot!

    From reading Amazon:

    Grates 176 lbs of potatoes in 1 hour
    Ideal for any cuisine that includes potatoes
    Easy to clean & wash, and dishwasher safe
    Comes with 1 year warranty
    Grates potatoes to a fine paste.


    Are you able to control how fine or coarse those potatoes are grated to?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #11 - December 16th, 2014, 6:09 pm
    Post #11 - December 16th, 2014, 6:09 pm Post #11 - December 16th, 2014, 6:09 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Bill,

    Are you able to control how fine or coarse those potatoes are grated to?



    Hi, Cathy2!

    No controls other than power on/off.
  • Post #12 - December 16th, 2014, 6:32 pm
    Post #12 - December 16th, 2014, 6:32 pm Post #12 - December 16th, 2014, 6:32 pm
    Bill,

    If you forward this video to just past 8 minutes, you will see a machine similar to yours, which also happens to be from Lithuania:

    Mike G wrote:Sky Full of Bacon #14: The Last Days of Kugelis



    The history of Lithuanians in Chicago is the history of the twentieth century— from immigration in the early years of the century to the racial tensions of the 1960s. One of the last examples of Lithuanian Chicago closed in late 2009: Healthy Food, a 71-year-old restaurant serving good hearty Eastern European food in the Bridgeport neighborhood. I was at Healthy Food during its last few days, talking to owner Gina Santoski about her life in the restaurant (which her parents bought in 1960) and to the staff and customers who made it one of Chicago’s classic old neighborhood spots.

    And, for the first and only time, I captured on video the complete making of Healthy Food’s signature dish, kugelis— according to Gina, she never let other journalists shoot the full process, because she was concerned that the traditional ways of making it would attract unwanted Health Department attention; but since she was closing anyway, she let me shoot it all. (15:31)
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #13 - December 16th, 2014, 6:39 pm
    Post #13 - December 16th, 2014, 6:39 pm Post #13 - December 16th, 2014, 6:39 pm
    Cathy2,

    That is exactly what the texture coming out of my new grinder looks like. I also run the onions through it (= many tears). Still trying to find a source for knuckle blood - preferably not homemade. Amazon?
  • Post #14 - December 16th, 2014, 7:01 pm
    Post #14 - December 16th, 2014, 7:01 pm Post #14 - December 16th, 2014, 7:01 pm
    Are you saying that mush is better than grating?

    Why is this any better than running the food processor long enough to create mush
  • Post #15 - December 16th, 2014, 7:41 pm
    Post #15 - December 16th, 2014, 7:41 pm Post #15 - December 16th, 2014, 7:41 pm
    Grating is mush. Mush is good! Uniform mush even better. The small grating holes (not shredding) on my box grater produce mush.This is a pancake batter. The goal is to separate the cells without rupturing too many cell walls and releasing too much water. It easy to go too little or too far with a food processor.

    Image
  • Post #16 - December 16th, 2014, 9:15 pm
    Post #16 - December 16th, 2014, 9:15 pm Post #16 - December 16th, 2014, 9:15 pm
    I too, prefer mush to shreds, and the Microplane was a mush-master tonight. I made much faster work of 3 potatoes, an onion, and half a shallot by switching from the small holes on a box grater to a Microplane. I can't identify the size of the microplane other than it's from the Artisan series and has a picture of carrots, Swiss cheese, and coconut on the cover. It was also my first time using flour instead of matzoh meal, and I liked the less coarse results. After a Thanksgiving night ER visit for shaving my finger while making chocolate curls with a vegetable peeler, I am also proud to report no skin was lost in the making of these latkes.
  • Post #17 - December 16th, 2014, 9:18 pm
    Post #17 - December 16th, 2014, 9:18 pm Post #17 - December 16th, 2014, 9:18 pm
    Ha! That's great. "Domestic electric vegetable grater is a dream of every goodwife."

    In addition to the old box-type knuckle grater, I have a grater/shredder Kitchenaid mixer attachment that I've almost never used. It just occurred to me today that I might be able to use it for potato shredding for latkes. Has anyone else tried that?
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #18 - December 16th, 2014, 9:54 pm
    Post #18 - December 16th, 2014, 9:54 pm Post #18 - December 16th, 2014, 9:54 pm
    Hi,

    Bill, thanks for the wonderful instruction manual detail. This goodwife is delighted.

    Did you happen to go to the 8-minute mark on the video above? Is it the same mush you had? In the narrative, her device was originally intended for making horseradish, not for potato products.

    This evening, we made latkes by simply using a box grater to make them. Tomorrow night, I will use the food processor to make the mushy variant. Perhaps on Thursday night, we will try the modernist cuisine. On WGN at noon today, I came late to the show but it appeared her latkes were made from boiled potatoes.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #19 - December 16th, 2014, 11:05 pm
    Post #19 - December 16th, 2014, 11:05 pm Post #19 - December 16th, 2014, 11:05 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:
    Did you happen to go to the 8-minute mark on the video above? Is it the same mush you had?



    Cathy2,

    Thank you for posting the "Last Days of Kugelis". Yes, they look the same. Never thought about using it for grinding massive quantities of horseradish - the dream of every goodwife.
  • Post #20 - December 17th, 2014, 9:14 am
    Post #20 - December 17th, 2014, 9:14 am Post #20 - December 17th, 2014, 9:14 am
    You can also buy the grater from lietuvėlė in Chicago (part of Kunigaikščių Užeiga, aka Duke's on Harlem):

    http://www.lietuvele.com/osc/product_in ... cts_id=131
  • Post #21 - December 17th, 2014, 2:40 pm
    Post #21 - December 17th, 2014, 2:40 pm Post #21 - December 17th, 2014, 2:40 pm
    Marija wrote:You can also buy the grater from lietuvėlė in Chicago (part of Kunigaikščių Užeiga, aka Duke's on Harlem):

    http://www.lietuvele.com/osc/product_in ... cts_id=131


    I am quoting the ad because it has so many unique keywords related to potato products, it may help someone sometime:

    Potato Grater
    ELECTRIC POTATO GRATER ELECTRIC POTATO GRATER MADE IN LITHUANIA

    Perfect for preparing all your favorite recipes that require finely GRATED POTATOES.

    This is the "ORIGINAL" ELECTRIC POTATO GRATER manufactured in MAZEIKIAI, LITHUANIA

    Over the years many companies have tried to copy it
    tried to redesign it
    tried to "improve" it
    BUT
    For more than 35 YEARS
    This Electric Potato Grater has been the standard through out the world to produce finely grated potatoes with exactly the right consistency to make your favorite foods like

    CEPELINAI
    KUGELIS - POTATO CAKE
    BULVIU PLOKSTAINIS SU MESA - POTATO CAKE with MEAT
    BULVIU KUKULIAI - POTATO DUMPLINGS
    BULVINIAI BLYNAI - POTATO PANCAKES
    BULVIU DUBENELIAI - POTATO BOWLS
    BULVINES BANDELES - POTATO PUFFS
    BULVINIAI VEDARAI - POTATO SAUSAGES


    Or how about making your own homemade KRIENAI - HORSERADISH

    Let us tell you a little about our machine. According to our research THIS IS THE ONLY ELECTRIC POTATO GRATER MACHINE of this type in the WORLD. There are other machines and devices out there. Some are electric. Some are manually powered. While some of these machines are of good quality and work very well none of them produce a grated potato with the correct consistency required for these traditional recipes because they were not specifically designed to grate potatoes for these recipes. What some produce is thin, narrow shavings.

    This is why many people that have these other devices have bought our machine.

    Our machine produces a grated potato of a thick porridge like mixture which is exactly the consistency what works best for these traditional recipes.
    Made in Lithuania
    $160.00
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #22 - December 17th, 2014, 4:23 pm
    Post #22 - December 17th, 2014, 4:23 pm Post #22 - December 17th, 2014, 4:23 pm
    Over Thanksgiving, my Mom made what I call Chinese Latkes out of taro root and scallions. It kind of makes me wonder if it was actually the result of cross-cultural pollination from years of Jewish families going to Chinese restaurants on Christmas. Which, come to think of it, kind of makes it even more awesome.
    "I've always thought pastrami was the most sensuous of the salted cured meats."
  • Post #23 - December 18th, 2014, 9:56 am
    Post #23 - December 18th, 2014, 9:56 am Post #23 - December 18th, 2014, 9:56 am
    Hi,

    On WGN Midday news the other day, they hosted Chef Rachel Davis of Bergstein’s NY Delicatessen. She boiled the potatoes before grating and seasoning, then shaped and fried. Is this more a restaurant style latke than home? I would imagine Manny's may take a similar approach, especially given the thickness of their potato pancakes.

    Recipe and video are here: http://wgntv.com/2014/12/16/lunchbreak- ... es-latkes/


    Bergstein’s NY Delicatessen located at 1164 E 55th Street in Hyde Park. 773-891-0429

    There is also a location in Chicago Heights – 200 Dixie Highway. 708-754-6400

    www.bergsteinsny.com

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #24 - December 18th, 2014, 11:25 am
    Post #24 - December 18th, 2014, 11:25 am Post #24 - December 18th, 2014, 11:25 am
    I would consider a potato "pancake" made with boiled potatoes more of a croquette than a latke.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #25 - December 18th, 2014, 3:43 pm
    Post #25 - December 18th, 2014, 3:43 pm Post #25 - December 18th, 2014, 3:43 pm
    stevez wrote:I would consider a potato "pancake" made with boiled potatoes more of a croquette than a latke.


    I would think it depends on the texture of the potato. It seems you could still under-cook the spuds when you boil them and keep a bit of texture yet get a softer finished product. Then it comes down to the shape. I think of croquettes as cone shaped, or maybe ball-like, while I think of latkes and pancakes as being much flatter than croquettes. Either way, you would, hopefully, still get a crispy exterior. The inside could be total mush (leftover mashed) going towards a, perhaps, stringy, badly done latke.
    There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told. (Poe)
  • Post #26 - December 18th, 2014, 5:26 pm
    Post #26 - December 18th, 2014, 5:26 pm Post #26 - December 18th, 2014, 5:26 pm
    Hi,

    The Modernist Cuisine variant of a latke is very much croquette style: rich mashed potatoes rolled in dried potatoes (think crumbs) and fried.

    The deli recipe using grated cooked potato plus added ingredients and fried is less croquette. The potatoes already cooked does save them from any chance of a unpleasant undercooked potato taste.

    How do you think Manny's prepares their latkes? Theirs are very thick compared to many I've tried. Do you think they use raw potato or precooked to some extent?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #27 - December 18th, 2014, 5:46 pm
    Post #27 - December 18th, 2014, 5:46 pm Post #27 - December 18th, 2014, 5:46 pm
    Molly Katzen recommends boiling potatoes first and the reasoning makes sense to me. She is not talking about completely 'cooking' them, but simply taking the edge off. This allows you to cook the latkes on very high heat, getting a wonderfully crisp outside, while still having cooked potato on the inside.
  • Post #28 - December 18th, 2014, 6:13 pm
    Post #28 - December 18th, 2014, 6:13 pm Post #28 - December 18th, 2014, 6:13 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,

    The Modernist Cuisine variant of a latke is very much croquette style: rich mashed potatoes rolled in dried potatoes (think crumbs) and fried.

    The deli recipe using grated cooked potato plus added ingredients and fried is less croquette. The potatoes already cooked does save them from any chance of a unpleasant undercooked potato taste.

    How do you think Manny's prepares their latkes? Theirs are very thick compared to many I've tried. Do you think they use raw potato or precooked to some extent?

    Regards,


    In my book, your "Modernist Cuisine" variant is a potato pancake, I guess, but it's not a latke. I'm somewhat militant on this, as with hot dogs. I suppose I'm a latke traditionalist.

    I've never watched Manny's prepare their latkes, but my guess is that they're made with raw, grated potatoes that are deep fried, although they were test marketing a latke mix a few years back. I'm not sure if that ever saw the light of day, though.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #29 - December 18th, 2014, 7:07 pm
    Post #29 - December 18th, 2014, 7:07 pm Post #29 - December 18th, 2014, 7:07 pm
    stevez wrote:
    In my book, your "Modernist Cuisine" variant is a potato pancake, I guess, but it's not a latke. I'm somewhat militant on this, as with hot dogs. I suppose I'm a latke traditionalist.


    Wow. I've made Latkes without boiling potatoes, and I've made latkes with boiling potatoes. I'm curious what Jewish culinary tome you have which states that, 'thou shalt not boil'.
  • Post #30 - December 18th, 2014, 7:27 pm
    Post #30 - December 18th, 2014, 7:27 pm Post #30 - December 18th, 2014, 7:27 pm
    My Bubbe. That's the only tome I need. YMMV.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven

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