The oil was already sizzling when Suzy and I got together to make and freeze latkes for Hanukah. Since it’s quite a mess to deal with the day of a party and not particularly enjoyable to do alone, we team up every year in order to fill our freezers with these crispy holiday treats. All we have to do is then heat and serve them at a later date.
After making latkes together for a number of years, we’ve become quite a proficient team. We’ve also shared some tried and true tips with one another. Because of Suzy, I now soak my shredded potatoes in water to remove starch. And I’ve traded in my fingers for her two spoon method of placing a small mound of potatoes into the skillet. I even learned that my food processor can fit a lot more potatoes if I lift up the back instead of only using the small tube. Who knew???
We took off our sweaters and rolled up our sleeves as we prepared to do battle with ten pounds of Yukon Gold Potatoes and two 16 inch skillets of boiling oil. We shredded, soaked and mixed the potatoes and onions. While one of us salted, the other flipped; when one of us drained, the other took a run down to the freezer.
It’s a messy fun time and as a result of the inevitable splattering, our clothes tend to carry the smell for the remainder of the day. As people take a whiff, they must wonder whether we just finished the deep fryer shift at McDonald’s. But no, it was just a little prep work for a holiday that lasts eight long nights. In fact, my kids love latkes so much they ask for them every night! That’s why a few days later, I repeated the latke making session with Jackie. That’s double the latkes now so I think I’m sitting pretty for Hanukah. I may even have some leftover for a fancy hors d’ouevres for Christmas Eve (yes we celebrate that too!) only they’ll become crisp potato pancakes with a dollop of caviar.
Only a few hours of work (if you can call it that) and I’m ready for the festival of lights!
5 pounds of Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and shredded
2 onions, shredded
1/8 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Canola or olive oil (or a combination)
Heat a large skillet with ¼ inch of oil.
Using a food processor (or a hand grater) shred the potatoes and onions. Soak the potatoes in water and then run water over them through a strainer, removing as much starch as possible. Transfer the potatoes and onions to a large bowl and mix together with the flour and egg.
Meanwhile, heat a skillet (or two) with about 1/8 of an inch of canola or olive oil. When the oil is hot, spoon the potatoes into the oil (about a tablespoon) in the shape of little mounds. Let them fry on each side until golden for about 5 minutes per side. Continue making the latkes in batches until all of the mixture is used.Sprinkle with salt.
Drain the latkes on paper towels for a few minutes (no longer) and freeze uncovered until hardened. You can use aluminum foil to create layers (another tip I learned from Suzy!). Once frozen, transfer the latkes to a freezer bag or container, making sure to seal out any excess air.
To reheat, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and bake on a cookie sheet until hot — about 14-18 minutes.