Don’t Get Hung up on the Patch

Fact: people love latkes. I wish I was one of them. The fried potatoes should be an indispensable aid, but most of my Hanukkah memories have to do with skipping the latkes for the applesauce they were served with.

As an adult, I perceive latkes not so much as a headliner, but as a stage. They are an excellent base for smoked salmon, crème fraîche and caviar; berry, apple or cranberry jam; stewed vegetables, a slice of rare roast beef and a spicy horseradish sauce. It’s almost a shame to limit yourself to only sour cream or applesauce.

Moreover, we can show some flexibility by proposing a formula: purple potatoes instead of reddish brown ones, or sweet potatoes or red pomegranate yams. Better yet, make all three – garnet, purple, and red garnet – and stack them to create a rainbow of autumn colors. Try a red flannel-style latke for breakfast.

I’ve already told Claire about making latkes with duck fat , but you can get different flavors from different fats and oils, so don’t be afraid to expand.

But as much as I was inspired by making tall patches, I still think that making them such a routine job. Peeling, grating, standing over the stove forever, all this is oil. It has been suggested that the only way to truly make great latches is to grate the potatoes by hand, and I just instinctively say “ugh.”

I caught myself wondering if I could just do less and still get latke? Hanukkah is literally a holiday where you can do more with less; I may not be able to increase my productivity eightfold with these tricks, but hey, this is 2021. We will take what we can.

Peeling potatoes is optional

Exhausted, I stared at the pile of potatoes, knife in hand, and caught myself thinking, “Why? Why am I doing this? »Leave the skins on the fries. We leave the skins when we break the potatoes. In fact, the peel of a potato is literally a THING. What would happen if we just … did less?

Nothing. Nothing happened. It’s great! Wash those legs, throw them over the grater (and you know I use Cuisinart) and act with impunity. I mean, if you want to peel potatoes, go crazy. But I’m done.

Don’t worry about the deep fat fryer.

Have I ever wanted this to work? It should be so! I’ve read a few deep fat latkes recipes and that’s literally the thing deep fryers are made for. But there were several problems with the deep fryer. The grate in deep fryers does not favor the formation of latkes. Even if it was well oiled, the potatoes would stick to the wire rack or fall through, and when I tried to flip it over, it became even more messy.

I loaded up a few latkes, once fried in oil, to see if the deep fat fryer can make them crispy, but the latches are too crispy. I know it sounds incredible, but I tried different temperatures and times and every batch came out dry and tasteless. Plus, if you have to pull out the pan anyway, the second cycle of the deep fat fryer just adds the dishes to the equation.

Register your oven

Take a rimmed baking sheet and place it in the oven at 375 ℉. Pour ¼ inch oil into a baking sheet, close the door and let it heat for 12 minutes, leaving one potato slice in the skillet. When you see the potatoes sizzle, it’s time. Open the oven, carefully pull out the wire shelf and add the patché mix. But seriously, the oil is hot , so do it slowly and wear gloves to avoid spilling the oil on you. Ask how I know. (Don’t ask; pictures will make you give up latkes).

By size: Think of them as cookies on a baking sheet and make the patches smaller, about 10 per sheet. Bake them for 15 minutes on the first side, then gently turn over and cook for another eight minutes. The latkes should be brown on both sides. Transfer the patch with a slotted spatula to paper towels to dry. This oil is hot and you have to be careful, but roasting it in the oven means not standing over the stove and looking after the potatoes. You are actually creating a giant frying pan and it rules.

Bottom line: People are passionate about latke recipes, just like matzo balls or pasta sauce recipes, there is no generally accepted method or recipe – the only magic ingredient is butter. If you want your preparation to be super ambitious, I applaud and celebrate your ambition. I will, however, use that recovered time and energy to cook an edible and drink some Netflix.


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