Saturday, January 16, 2010

Potato latka

Today, I'm an official northeasterner. I ate my very first potato latka. It was large and dry, a bit crumbly. After the first bite, I felt it needed something. Gravy? Everything's better with gravy. Instead, I ate it with ketchup. Better...but probably not authentic.

Along with the latka, I had the very best Reuben sandwich ever. Ever. It will haunt me in my dreams. I'll be sending my poor husband out to Barry's Village Deli at all hours of the day and night. Okay. They're not open very late. More accurately...all hours of the day and evening. The bread. The corned beef. And the best part. Where the swiss melted on the griddle and became a slightly chewy/crunchy shell on rye with the perfect soup├žon of Russian. Mmmm...


  1. Apparently latkas should be served with applesauce and sour cream. Who knew?

  2. If you had to eat the latka with ketchup or gravy it wasn't the genuine article. Try making some yourself, it's very easy and you can do a small batch to try it out. 1 medium/large russet potato, peeled and finely grated, 1 med/small onion, peeled and finely grated, 1 egg, flour or matzoh meal, salt and pepper to taste, oil for frying.

    You can use a box grater with the fine grate side (not shreds), or you can use the food processor in a two-step process: first shred and then pulse the shreds to the consistency of course sand. Be careful not to over-pulse.

    You can strain out some of the potato water for a better fry.

    Combine the ingredients in a bowl into a batter. The flour or matzoh meal should be just a few tablespoons to help hold the batter together and soak up some moisture. You should be able to taste some saltiness in the batter as you add it incrementally, but don't oversalt.

    Drop by large spoonfuls into the hot oil in a skillet -- about a half inch of oil is sufficient. Let the latkas set in the oil for a few minutes, then release the bottom with a spatula. Turn when edges become browned. It's best to turn only once, but if the first side isn't done after you flip them, you can always flip it back later.

    Drain on a paper towel and enjoy hot with sour cream or applesauce. You'll know if you've made them right if you can't stop eating them.

  3. Mr. Herstein, thank you so much! I really appreciate your taking the time to share your recipe. I'm excited about trying it out. Look for a blog post about making my first potato latkas sometime in the near future.


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