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Jewish Food: The World at Table by Matthew Goodman

This is the latke recipe that I make every year for Hanukkah; it seems perfect to me. It comes from Anita Jacobson, an instructor at the Institute for Culinary Education in New York, who learned it from her mother Minnie Smoler.


2 pounds russet potatoes
1 onion
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
Applesauce and sour cream for topping

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

2. Peel the potatoes and grate them. (This can be done in a food processor, but the texture is better if done by hand.) Place the grated potatoes in a colander with a plate beneath it. Sprinkle salt on the potatoes, then cover them with a layer of paper towels. Place a heavy object, such as a heavy bowl or can, on top. Allow the potatoes to drain for 10 minutes.

3. While the potatoes are draining, peel and grate the onion.

4. Pat the potatoes dry with paper towels. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, onion, eggs, and flour and season generously with salt and pepper. Mix well.

5. In a large, heavy skillet, add oil to a depth of about 1/4 inch and heat over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Drop 1/4 cup of the potato mixture into the hot oil, flattening with a spatula. Fry the latkes until deep brown and crisp on both sides.

6. Drain the latkes on paper towels, patting them with the towels on both sides. Transfer in a single layer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven until all of them have been made. Serve hot, with applesauce and sour cream.

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