Source: Rochelle, circa 1990
Long ago, I was a hairdresser. Hang in there, I promise this story has to do with potato cakes! Anyhow, it was Hanukkah time, and my client was Jewish. The topic of discussion was menu and what she was serving for her special holiday. She told me all about her Latke, or potato cakes. She had me at fried potato’s. It sounded amazing, and I was quite surprised I hadn’t heard of them before. Traditionally, potato cakes are called Latkes.
Naturally, out of sheer curiosity, I gave them a try. I found out they were easy and very, very good! I did some research on these cakes via youtube. To my surprise, it seems that many “Jewish” chefs advise on buying a Latke mix. Promising it was easier and better, saving yourself the time of shredding I guess? If this Latke mix is anything like buying mashed potato’s in a box, I’d pass!
Remember my philosophy on convenience…forget it! Trust yourself that you can cook and prepare Jewish Latkes from scratch. A key tip in preparing the Latkes, is once you have shredded your potatoes, let them stand and drain for about 15-20 min. You will discard the drained potato juice and once there is no more liquid, add your dry ingredients and eggs. Give them a shot if you haven’t already.
- 8-10 medium potatoes peeled and shredded (use a large cheese shredder, or a food processor)
- 1/3 cup bread crumbs
- 3 medium eggs
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 pinch ground pepper
- Begin preparing the potatoes. 8-10 potatoes will serve about 5 cakes each for a family of 5.
- Clean, peel and shred the potatoes
- Collect all shredded potatoes and place in a colander which will allow them to drain the excess water that potatoes have.
- Have your eggs and breadcrumbs ready to add
- Combine the shredded potatoes, 3 eggs, bread crumbs and salt/pepper.
- Mix well. Batter should resemble a somewhat sticky texture.
- Form into small pattys, something comparable to forming meat balls, but a flatter version.
- In a frying pan, add oil and heat. Begin to cook the patty’s until golden brown on each side. On a med/high heat, this is usually about 8 min. on each side.
- Transfer cooked cakes to a warm oven, serve all together when cooked.