When I saw the theme this week I immediately called my mom because Grandma Segal made great latkes and I wanted to know how. Mom gave me the low-down -- potatoes of course which Grandma peeled and I chose not too because I like potato peels, batter made with baking soda only never baking powder, which I followed, fried in chicken fat - I chose to fry in duck fat because you know what's better than stuff fried in duck fat? NOTHING, that's what! Also instead of applesauce I made an apple lemon chutney which sounds like a lot of extra work but TRUST me, it's worth it. And I TOTALLY stole the idea of adding whole sliced lemon from AntoniaJames ... so thanks AJ!! - aargersi —aargersi
Test Kitchen Notes
I have to admit that my motive for testing this recipe was to have a reason to indulge with friends in a pre-birthday celebration of cocktails and nosh. I made the apple lemon chutney earlier in the day and kept it warm on the stove. I found myself stealing tastes while I prepped the other ingredients. After adding only slightly more brown sugar than the recipe indicated, I found the perfect balance of tangy and sweet. Using a grater blade in a food processor to shred the potatoes and onion was a breeze, and literally took less than one minute to complete. My guests loved the finished latkes, with crispy edges and soft centers. One guest commented that the duck fat added a subtle umami taste, and that the chutney turned a humble potato into an elegant dish with beautiful fragrance and complex flavors. Needless to say, we devoured them and followed the author's instructions to drink wine. Ours was a celebratory glass of Prosecco with wild Hibiscus flowers in syrup. Cheers! —SwoonMySpoon
8 - 10 latkes
Apple Lemon Chutney
medium sweet onion - peeled quartered and sliced thinly (2 C onion)
granny smith apples - peeled cored and diced (a heaping 2 C of apple)
meyer lemon - quartered and sliced as thinly as you possible can. Remove the seeds.
whole brown mustard seed
whole cumin seed
red chili flakes
apple cider vinegar
light brown sugar
Duck Fat Fried Latkes
large russet potato - washed and shredded - 2 1/2 C of potato
sweet onion shredded - 1/2 c onion
green onions - minced - green and pale green only
fresh ground pepper
half a bowl of cold water
In This Recipe
Apple Lemon Chutney
heat the oil in a large saucepan. Toast the spices for just 2-3 minutes until they become quite fragrant.
Add the apple and onion and cook for a few minutes to just sweat them but don't brown them.
Add everything else and simmer the mixture for about 45 minutes until everything is soft and blended. Stir it fairly often and taste after about 15-20 minutes - if you have very tart lemon or apples you may want a bit more sugar.
Duck Fat Fried Latkes
Whisk 1 tbs of salt into a bowl filled halfway with cold water. Get a clean dishtowel out and ready - it will not be clean for long.
Shred the potatoes - I used the grater plate on the food processor. Put them in the bowl of water.
Shred the onion. Squeeze out as much juice as you can. Put it on the towel. Squeeze the water out of the potatoes and put them on the towel too and roll the whole thing up and squeeze or press them to dry.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the dried potato / onion mixture and the green onions and toss it all together to coat thoroughly. Whisk the eggs together and toss them into the potatoes.
Heat a 2-3 of tbs of duck fat to medium high (depends how big your skillet is) you want a decent coating of duck fat but not swimming. When the fat is hot (use a shred of potato to test) put heaping spoonfuls of the potato mixture in the pan and gently flatten it a bit with a fork. Don't overcrowd them.
Fry them 3-4 minutes until nice and brown and crispy, then flip and repeat. I don't even drain them because first off they don't get greasy and second, well, remember what I said about duck fat?? Repeat with the remaining latkes. If you don't have someone standing over you with an empty plate waiting, you can keep them warm in a low oven for a little bit.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a dollop of chutney. Drink wine. I am having a falanghina. Enjoy.