Cast Iron

Crispy on the Outside, Tender on the Inside Latkes

December  5, 2013
2 Ratings
  • Serves 3-4 (maybe 16-18 potatoes, more or less)
Author Notes

Here is the accumulated wisdom of two successive decades of latke-ology. The use of Yukon Gold potatoes, extra egg white and potato starch in place of flour seem to add crispness. I think it was a New York Times article that taught me to alternate onion and potato, when shredding in the food processor, to preclude the sickly neon pinkish-green color of oxidized latke batter. Using mostly Yukon Gold potatoes and adding a squeeze of lemon juice also help. Shallots provide a nice sharp flavor and olive oil only improves matters. —creamtea

What You'll Need
  • 2-3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, un-peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1 large egg plus one egg white
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 shallots, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 2 teaspoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
  • Safflower and olive oil for frying
  • Sour cream, Greek Yogurt, smoked salmon, chives and/or applesauce as optional accompaniments
  1. Using the large shredding disc of a food processor, shred the potatoes, alternating with the onion and shallots. Remove mixture to a large colander set over a bowl.
  2. With hands, press firmly on mixture, allowing liquid to drain into bowl. Squeeze by handfuls to extract as much liquid as possible.
  3. Return one-half of potato mixture to food processor bowl, fitting it with steel blade. Pulse to chop finely.
  4. Place the two potato mixtures in a large bowl, Add egg and egg white, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix or toss to combine thoroughly. Pour off and discard liquid collected in bowl that was under the colander, retaining the potato starch at the bottom of the bowl. Scrape this starch into the potato mixture and mix in thoroughly.
  5. Have ready a paper-towel-lined platter. Heat 1/4" safflower oil in cast-iron fry pan on medium-high heat. Add a small amount of olive oil for flavor. When oil is hot but not smoking, drop potato mixture by approximately 1/4 cupfuls into oil, flattening the tops for even cooking, and fry until crisp and brown on underside. Sprinkle tops with more salt. Do not crowd pan or they will be hard to flip. Flip with a flexible pancake flipper and brown on second side and sprinkle again with salt. (The first batch will probably stick a little, but successive batches will release easily). When finished, remove to towel-lined platter, blot with additional paper towels, and repeat, frying remainder of batter in batches until all batter is used up, and adding additional oil between batches as required. They may be kept warm, uncovered, in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet in a 200º oven until serving time.
  6. Serve hot with applesauce; for non-vegans, add sour cream or Greek Yogurt, and thinly-sliced smoked salmon and chives as accompaniments if desired.

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