365 Days: Ina's Classic Potato Latkes

Sure, Hannukah is behind us. However, this is a dish you can always prepare and enjoy for a weekend breakfast, brunch, and especially for dinner 365 days of the year. New Year's is coming up so making the latkes smaller and topped with sour cream and smoked salmon or even caviar would make for the perfect appetizer. 

This recipe is originally from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa. I have used this recipe often and have tweaked it to my liking, therefore making it my own. I especially like using green onions instead of the basic yellow onion. 

  • 1½ pounds russet potatoes (an average of four to five medium potatoes)
  • tablespoons grated yellow onion, or more if you like onions (or chopped green onions, using both the green and white parts)
  • 1extra-large egg, beaten (or one large egg and one yolk)
  • 3tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Butter (optional)

Peel and grate potatoes. Grate potatoes using a hand box grater or to make the task easier, use the grate blade on a Cuisinart. Soak the grated potatoes in a bowl with cold water while finishing the grating task. The water keeps the potatoes from turning pink which gives the potatoes an ugly gray color when frying. When ready to mix potatoes pour in a colander to remove the water, and if possible any settled potato starch at the bottom of the bowl, remove and save later to add to the potatoes. Strain and press the water out of the potatoes, and if necessary add the grated potatoes to a clean kitchen towel and squeeze the towel to remove as much liquid as possible without busting up the potato shreds. 

Transfer the grated and well-drained potatoes to a mixing bowl. Add the onion, egg, flour, salt, and pepper. Combine well.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil (or half olive oil and butter) and heat until the skillet sizzles. Drop 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of the potato mixture into the pan and repeat. If you would like larger latkes then use 1/2 measured cup. Using a small metal spatula, gently flatten each latke. Cook over medium to medium-high heat for three to four minutes until the underside of each latke is golden brown. Turn the latkes with a spatula and cook the other side for two to three minutes until crispy brown. Make roughly six latkes with the first batch. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Keep warm. 

Continue to fry a second batch and once again use olive oil (or half oil and butter) to the pan and repeat frying until the potato mixture is gone and the finished latkes are transferred to a plate. Sprinkle lightly with Kosher salt, if desired, and serve warm.
On the side serve sour cream and/or apple sauce. 

And don't forget a glass of Champagne to pair with the rich fried potatoes. In the words of Ina, "How easy is that?" 

Wishing you a happy and wealthy New Year 2024! 


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