Sunday, 16 December 2012


an ovo vegetarian dish

I've been meaning to cook some of these since the beginning of Hanukkah but I didn't get to 'til now, so you're just going to have to deal with it!

Assuming you actually cook or that you have a kitchen that's being used for activities more complex than slicing pizza and microwaving Kraft's ready-made thingamajiggies, the ingredients you need to make it are very basic and I'm sure they're just lying around somewhere in there.

Go ahead and try your hand at latkes.  They're delicious; they're simple; and you don't have to feel guilty about the oiliness 'cause you're only eating them for the sake of celebrating the Festival of Lights in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters.  If you consume them outside of Hanukkah, that's your problem.

If you stick to the instructions, you could feed:

- 4 or 5 people

You will need:
- 1 pound of potatoes (usually 3 medium-sized pieces) 
- ½ cup of grated or very finely chopped onion 
- 1 large egg (from either a chicken, duck, goose or turkey because you want this dish to be completely Kosher so you won't undermine it's Jewish spirit) 
- ½ teaspoon of salt 
- ½ cup of olive oil for shallow-frying

Let's make Latkes:
1. Make unflavoured mashed potato out of ⅓ (1) of the potatoes and set it aside. 
2. Peel ⅔ (2) of the potatoes and coarsely grate it... using a grater, of course.  
3. Soak the grated potatoes in cold water for 2 minutes and drain well. 
4. Use a kitchen towel to dry your grated potatoes after draining them.  What?  You don't know how to do it?  Oh, fine!  Spread the grated potatoes out partially on the kitchen towel, making sure they're not too close to the edges; roll the towel up sushi style; and then twist it to remove as much water as you possibly can.  (If you don't have a kitchen towel, use paper towels but don't twist them.  Just pat the grated potatoes dry instead.)
5. In a bowl, mix the grated potatoes, mashed potatoes, chopped/grated onion and salt. 
6. Mix in the egg last and make sure you stir it in very well so that you end up with a thick batter-like consistency. 
7. Heat ¼ cup of oil in a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. 
8. For every latke, scoop out a generous tablespoon of the mixture, drop it onto the hot oil and spread it out flat.  Accommodate as many pieces as you can in a cooking batch but make sure they don't touch each other while cooking so they don't end up sticking together. 
9. Cook each side for about 4 to 5 minutes until brown like the photo above.  Not too brown, though.
10. Remove them from the pan when they are cooked and let them sit on top of a paper towel to remove some of the oil. 
11. You can eat them as they are OR you may serve them with sour cream or apple sauce.  I just ate them bare.

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