Crispy Potato Latkes
Crispy potato pancakes weren’t something that I grew up eating, but once I found them in adulthood, I couldn’t get enough. My grandma used to make a similar potato pancake, but out of mashed potatoes instead. They were good, but there’s something totally blissful about being able to eat the equivalent of hash browns for dinner. Quite a few years ago, my Chief Culinary Consultant and I went out to dinner with his friend and his friend’s wife to a local brewery in late September. The restaurant was celebrating Oktoberfest with a special menu; as a result, we ordered an array of appetizers to share and skipped entrees altogether. Latkes were one of the things we chose, and we ended up getting a second order after we realized that the first one wasn’t going to go very far. Since then, anytime I see potato latkes on a menu, I am all in.
I’ve had these on my list to make at home for what feels like forever, and I kept putting them off. Do you ever stare at a recipe and think it’ll take SO MUCH effort, and oh my goodness, you can’t muster the motivation to just get in the kitchen and start? That was me with latkes. Why? I have no idea. It’s not much more complicated than shredding a few potatoes and an onion, stirring in an egg, some breadcrumbs and seasonings, then pan frying. That’s IT.
I have only myself to blame for keeping these from my belly for months and months and months.
These are super crispy on the outside and perfectly creamy on the inside. I love having them with sour cream, although a lot of places offer applesauce on the side, which I have admittedly never understood. Applesauce on its own? Absolutely. Applesauce with fried potatoes and onion? Not my thing.
However you decide to serve these, don’t be like me. Don’t drag your feet when it comes to making something so simple and so utterly delicious!
Crispy Potato Latkes
Crispy potato pancakes are one of my very favorite Oktoberfest appetizers!
3 pounds russet potatoes (about 5 large)
1 large yellow onion
¼ cup plain breadcrumbs
3½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons vegetable oil + more as needed
1. Shred the potatoes and the onion using the large holes on a box grater. Place the shredded potatoes and onion into a large dish towel and tightly squeeze over the sink to extract as much liquid as possible.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, breadcrumbs, salt, baking powder and pepper. Add the shredded mixture and stir to evenly coat.
3. Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a 12-inch skillet. The oil will be hot enough when you drop a piece of shredded potato into the pan and it immediately sizzles. Drop large spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan, pressing lightly on the top to flatten them slightly. Cook until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a wire rack placed above a double layer of paper towels.
4. Repeat with the remaining mixture. If the mixture becomes watery between batches, stir together to incorporate. Additionally, add more oil to the pan as needed to keep a thin layer of oil covering the bottom of the pan.
5. Serve the latkes warm with sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh parsley, or applesauce.