Both sides of my family are Jewish -- one hailing from the Ashkenazi regions (Eastern European) and the other Sephardic (Greece and the Mediterranean)...With a Rabbi for a great-grandfather, how could I not love to make potato latkes besides the fact I love, love, love potatoes every which way. Having been part recently of a Japanese culinary event, my twist is using Panko rather than the traditional matzoh meal...which gives it the best crispy/crunchy outside while maintaining the soft and flavorful inside...pairing with traditional basic sour cream and applesauce, or my preference sour cream & chives. - micki barzilay —micki barzilay
Test Kitchen Notes
We have a soft spot for cooks who tinker with classic recipes, retooling the periphery without over-altering the core. That's what Micki Barzilay did with her latkes. The panko coating amplifies the dry-leaf crispness you want in a latke. And Yukon Golds have plenty of moisture and sugar so once they're fried up, they toast handsomely on the edges, while at the center of the pancake, the potato strands remain silky and discreet. We discovered three tips: add the white pepper to taste -- unless you love white pepper, you might want to start with a teaspoon. Once the potatoes are mixed with the eggs and flour, they will continue to weep liquid, so squeeze them out as you shape them, and make sure you also fluff up the strands after squeezing or the pancake will be too dense. Lastly, if you don't have pastry flour, substitute 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour plus 1 tablespoons cake flour. - A&M —The Editors
Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and grated (about 2 pounds)
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons
finely chopped chives, or more to taste (divided use)
Wash, peel and (medium) grate Yukon gold potatoes. Squeeze and drain excess potato liquid once grated.
Add salt, white pepper, and 3 tablespoons of finely chopped chives. In a separate bowl beat 2 eggs till frothy.
Add eggs to potato mixture. Add in flour and mix thoroughly. Form into patties as noted below and cover with the panko breadcrumbs so you no longer see the potato.
Before you begin the frying process, mix the sour cream together with another tablespoon (or more to taste if you wish) of the finely chopped chives and refrigerate.
Using a large skillet, heat oil which should cover the bottom of skillet and 1/2 way up the sides of the patties. Test first by dropping a teaspoon of mixture into hot oil. It should quickly fry but not so hot it burns (just like when making falafels). The secret is getting the oil to the correct frying temperature so as to flash cook the potatoes to crispy perfection on the outside but remain soft yet cooked on the inside. When forming the patties they should be about 3 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Once you've cooked the potato pancakes serve hot immediately along with the cold sour cream & chive mixture. Of course if you prefer you can go with the sour cream and applesauce omiting the chives, but I always prefer savory vs. sweet. My Italian partner Louis (originally from Brooklyn) on the other hand prefers ketchup since he thinks he's eating hashbrowns -- just shaped like a patty!