Potato pancakes

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Plate of Latkes
Plate of Latkes

Potato pancakes or latkes (sometimes spelled latkas) are a dish consisting of a pancake-esque clump of grated potatoes fried in oil. They are called "latkes" in Jewish tradition. Potato pancakes are a European food and not specifically a Jewish one. Potato pancakes very likely originate in Eastern Europe where they are still eaten in large amounts, in areas like northeast Poland, for instance, which knows many varieties. One of favorite Polish foods are "Placki Wegierskie" which are basically Potato pancakes with a thick spicy Hungarian goulash inside. "German potato pancakes" are the same as latkes.

Potato pancakes are also associated with the Jewish cultural tradition in the United States and Europe. They can be and are served any time, but traditionally form part of the menu during the celebration of Hanukkah. Eating potato pancakes is not one of the mitzvot of Hanukkah; that is, it is not a fundamental part of the Hanukkah rituals, and has no religious significance. However, it is seen as appropriate to eat foods cooked in oil during a festival that celebrates the miracle of the Hanukkah oil. In Israel, potato pancakes—where they are known as 'levivot' ('levivah' singular)—are familiar and well-liked, but sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts, singular sufganiyah) are considered to be more Israeli.

Latkes are often eaten with sour cream or applesauce.

Various recipes for potato pancakes vary in the degree of fineness to which the potatoes are grated. Some are grated to long strips, others to a fine powder. Both latkes and potato pancakes bear a distant resemblance to the American dish called hash browns; however, hash browns are merely coarsely grated potatoes with no binding ingredients or flour. The French dish commonly known as "potato gallette", is also similar but the sour cream is an internal ingredient rather than a topping.

One recipe for potato pancakes is given below. Variants include cheese latkes, zucchini latkes, and apple latkes.

Ingredients

  • 4 large potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons Matzo meal, corn meal, or flour
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (for less oily latkes), or enough oil to fill the pan to about 1/4 inch (1/2 cm).
  • applesauce and/or sour cream

Procedure

  1. Peel potatoes and onion and grate.
  2. Optionally soak the resulting mixture in water, or squeeze it in a dishtowel, in order to remove excess starch.
  3. Mix potato and onion with egg, meal, and salt.
  4. Heat oil in a 10" pan over medium heat until it is quite hot. Drop 1-2 tablespoons of the potato mixture onto the pan per pancake. Turn once to allow both sides to fry. Allow 10-15 minutes total.
  5. Serve with applesauce and/or sour cream as a topping.

Serves four.

External links

Template:Cookbookparde:Latkes ja:ポテトパンケーキ

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