I hadn’t heard about latkes until recently, on a cooking show of Sofie Dumont, a chef in Belgium. She made these recently, and they looked so yummy I could not not try them… Latkes are a sort of potato pancakes, made out of potato, onion, flour, egg, salt & pepper. They are then fried in oil, or slow baked in a skillet.
Making latkes is not that time consuming but it takes a little preparation, some grating and some crying…that is if, like me, you tend to cry being around an onion being sliced….
These pancakes are known in Germany as Reibekuchen, but are also known in the Polish, Czech, Austrian and White Russian kitchen, to just name some. The name Latke, comes from the Jewish cuisine and stands for ‘small pancake’. They can be eaten both warm and cold, and are an excellent replacement for toast or crackers.
- 200 – 225 gr grated potato
- 20 gr grated onion
- 1/2 tablespoon flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- salt & pepper
- butter for baking
Starting from scratch, first wash and peel the potatoes and onion. You can grate both veggies easily with a hand grater (coarse), just be careful for your fingers! I would also grate the onion first, rather then last, just to get the crying part sorted. To make the latkes stick well, you need to keep the starch so I wouldn’t recommend washing the grated potato. It’s also very important to eliminate as much liquid as possible. The less moist in them, the crispier your pancakes will be. I wrung my potato and onion shreds in a clean tea towel, but a cheesecloth would work perfectly well too.
Take a bowl and mix the potato, onion, flour and egg together. Then season well with pepper & salt, to taste. Now heat a non stick pan on a low heat, and add a liberal amount of butter. Leave to melt and finish bubbling. To form the latkes, add about 2 tablespoons of mixture in the pan and flatten it with a spoon. Leave to cook slowly for 15 -20 minutes to ensure your potatoes are soft and cooked on the inside, but golden brown and crispy on the outside. When ready, take them out of the pan and place on a plate with a paper napkin.
There are quite a number of ways to serve these, with sour cream, apple sauce or garlic sauce, or with smoked salmon, avocado, egg or what you prefer.