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Matzo meal is a traditional binder, though we found that the pancake’s texture does not suffer without it. Applesauce and sour cream are classic accompaniments for potato latkes.
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes or russet potatoes, peeled
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into eighths
- 1 large egg
- 4 medium scallions, white and green parts, minced
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons matzo meal (optional)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
- Ground black pepper
- 1 cup vegetable oil, for frying
Grate the potatoes in a food processor fitted with the coarse shredding blade. Place half the potatoes in a fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl and reserve. Fit the food processor with the steel blade, add the onions and pulse with the remaining potatoes until all the pieces measure roughly 1/8 inch and look coarsely chopped, 5 to 6 one-second pulses. Mix with the reserved potato shreds in the sieve and press against the sieve to drain as much liquid as possible into the bowl below. Let the potato liquid stand until the starch settles to the bottom, about 1 minute. Pour off the liquid, leaving the starch in the bowl. Beat the egg, then the potato mixture and the remaining ingredients (except the oil), into the starch.
Meanwhile, heat 1/4 inch depth of oil in a 12-inch skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Working one at a time, place 1/4 cup potato mixture, squeezed of excess liquid and pressed into 1/2-inch thick disc, in the oil. Press gently with a nonstick spatula; repeat until 5 latkes are in the pan.
Maintaining heat so fat bubbles around the latke edges, fry until golden brown on the bottom and edges, about 3 minutes. Turn with the spatula and continue frying until golden brown all over, about 3 minutes more. Drain on a triple thickness of paper towels set on a wire rack over a jellyroll pan. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture, returning the oil to temperature between each batch and replacing the oil after every second batch. (Cooled latkes can be covered loosely with plastic wrap, held at room temperature for 4 hours, transferred to a heated cookie sheet and baked in a 375 degree F oven, until crisp and hot, about 5 minutes per side. Or, they can be frozen on a cookie sheet, transferred to zipper-lock freezer bag, frozen and reheated in a 375 degree F oven until crisp and hot, about 8 minutes per side.) Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Recipe reprinted by permission of America's Test Kitchen. All rights reserved.
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