POTATO LATKES

Latkes are a Jewish speciality, a meal in themselves when served with apple sauce or crème fraȋche. We happened to be testing latkes in the kitchen during strawberry season and they turned out to be oddly delicious with our rather runny strawberry jam. The main work involved for latkes is in grating the potatoes, best done with an attachment to the food processor. However Leo is a dab hand with an old fashioned box grater.

Makes two dozen latkes to serve 6
2 pounds/900 g medium to large potatoes, peeled
1 small onion
3 tablespoons flour, more if needed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Freshly ground white pepper
2-3 eggs
4-6 tablespoons vegetable oil
To finish
Coarse salt, such as Maldon sea salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon

1. Grate the potatoes or parsnips using the coarse side of a box grater, or use a food processor fitted with the grating disk. You should have about 8 cups/2 liters of potato. Also grate the onion on the box grater (it will be quite pulpy and your eyes will sting). In a large bowl, stir together the potatoes, onion, flour, salt, baking powder, and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Whisk together 2 eggs until mixed and stir into the potato mixture. If it seems dry, add another egg.

2. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set them with the latke batter, a large spoon, and a spatula near the stove top. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a 1/4-inch/5 mm layer of oil and heat it until it shimmers; a drop of batter will sizzle on contact. Using a large spoon, pour batter into the pan, flattening each spoonful into a 3-4-inch/7-10 cm cake about 1/2inch/1.25 cm thick. You’ll get 4 or 5 latkes in a 12-inch/30-cm skillet.

3. Cook the latkes, flipping them once, until golden on both sides, 4-5 minutes total. Transfer them to the prepared baking sheet and continue cooking the remaining batter. Be sure to stir the batter before adding more to the pan and use more oil as needed for frying. You’ll find some liquid is left in the bottom of the bowl at the end of frying.

4. Arrange the latkes on a platter and keep them warm. Serve them as soon as possible, sprinkling them with coarse salt and a squeeze of lemon juice just before serving.