Published November 1, 1997.
A two-step technique for grating potatoes yields latkes that are crispy around the edges but still creamy in the center, with serious potato flavor.
Figuring out how to make these ideal latkes would mean finding the best potato, the best grating method, and the best frying technique.
Often served as a side dish with holiday meals, the Jewish potato latke (something of a pancake) is usually made from grated potatoes mixed with eggs, onions, matzo meal, and seasonings and then fried. Ideally, latkes should be somewhat thick, golden, very crisp on the outside, and very creamy in the center.
Yukon Golds, which are medium-starch potatoes, proved best to achieve pancakes with an attractive yellow-gold color, a sweet and mild flavor, and a creamy--but neither gluey nor sticky--texture. Working with a food processor, we produced large shreds of potato by passing all of the potatoes through the coarse shredding blade. We then removed about half of them, added chunks of onion to the potatoes left in the workbowl, and processed the mixture until it became a coarse puree. The large shreds of potato cooked up nice and crisp along the outside of the pancake, while the puree provided the makings of a thick, chewy inside. Another important step was to press the potatoes into a fine sieve to remove their moisture. The layer of potato starch that formed at the bottom of the bowl of accumulated liquid was very helpful in binding the pancakes later on. Yet another key step was to have the oil really hot, but not smoking, when putting the latkes into the pan. We then kept the oil at a lively bubble while the pancakes cooked.list of recipes