Tuesday, December 04, 2007

New Potato Latkes

I usually make Latkes, those powerful puffs of Hanukkah potato goodness, from Idaho potatoes. But it was cold today, and I didn't want to walk to 85th street to get them. Fortunately, Zabar's had an excellent stock of red new potatoes, so I bought those. New potatoes tend to be sweeter and less starchy than Idaho potatoes, so I was a little worried if the potatoes pancakes I was making would "stick" together when cooked. I also bought sweet "Vidalia like" onions, which work well with the new potatoes.

The major adjustment I had to make was adding more flour than I usually do as the potatoes produce less starchy liquid than their shoestring producing cousins. The lovely wife, who ended up cooking the potato pancakes themselves while I was in the Tundra picking up boy #1 from hockey practice, added a bit more flour still, which really helped the potatoes hold. Besides their superior flavor, new potatoes don't need to be peeled, which saved a lot of prep time. This recipe is based on what I think I did, and is clearly more of a suggestion than an actual recipe. But it works and its tasty!


1) 3 pounds new potatoes, grated with skins on
2) 2 chopped sweet (Vidalia style) onions (taste them BEFORE using)
3) tablespoon salt
4) 5 eggs, beaten
5) full handful of flour
6) Olive oil AND vegetable oil


1) Food processor with grating attachment for potatoes (you can use a grater with Idaho potatoes, but you will have bloody, bruised hands if you try to grate those little new potatoes
2) Large frying pan
3) Large bowl to put all those potatoes


If possible, try to do all the prep at least an hour before cooking. The potatoes will release their starch over this time and cook better.

Shred the potatoes in the Cuisinart. Chop the onions and combine (you do not have to add all of the onions). Beat the eggs and and add the salt to the eggs. Add this mix to the potatoes. Throw in some of the flour and mix really well with your hands. Let sit.

Add about 1/3" mix of vegetable and olive oil to the pan and heat until almost smoking. Grab handfuls of the potato mix, making sure to get liquid off the bottom (it helps to keep stirring it). You may need to add a bit more flour at this time. Scoop the handfuls into the oil (carefully!), flatten slightly with a spatula, and cook until golden brown on both sides. Serves many, many people.

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