Potato pancakes are traditional for Chanukah because of the vegetable oil they're fried in. Cheese is also traditional for the holiday, to celebrate a woman, Judith, who helped the Maccabees win their victory. Put them together and the potato latke lightens up a bit. Add fresh rosemary and there's a refreshing hint of springtime in this winter specialty! I once made 200 small versions of these for a holiday party. That's when I learned to make these the easy way in a food processor! - RonnieVFein —RonnieVFein
Test Kitchen Notes
RonnieVFein knows her way around a latke. She takes care with draining the grated potatoes and carefully chopping in a food processor for perfectly sized shreds. These particular latkes are a gentle variation on a classic latke. A touch of rosemary and lemon adds new depth. The mascarpone makes for a perfectly creamy interior inside a crispy shell. - Stephanie —The Editors
Peel the potatoes and shred them in a food processor. Remove the shreds from the processor, change the blade to the "S" blade and place the shreds back inside the workbowl. Pulse to chop the gratings into smaller pieces. Remove the potatoes to a strainer and press down to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Place the mixture in a mixing bowl.
Add the leek and eggs and mix them in. Stir in the cornstarch, salt, pepper, rosemary, lemon juice and cheese. Mix ingredients thoroughly.
Heat about 1/8-inch vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot enough to make a bread crumb sizzle, add batter by the spoonful to the pan, leaving ample space between each pancake. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side or until browned. Repeat with remaining batter. Drain on paper towels.