Alfred's Latkes

Alfred's Latkes

Grate three or four big unpeeled-but-well-scrubbed Idaho potatoes over a sieve which has been placed over a bowl.

Keep pressing the pile of grated potatoes in the sieve so that the liquid drains into the bowl.

Grate a yellow onion intermittently so that it is mixed in with the grated potatoes.

Take squeezed grated potato/onion mixture and plop it into another mixing bowl.

Add one egg. Mix.

Take the bowl into which the potato liquid has drained. Pour off the clear portion of the liquid, leaving the starch behind. Add this to the grated mixture.

Salt and pepper.

Mix well again. Add a scant tablespoon of wheat flour or about one fourth of a matzoh, crumbled fine.

Put on an apron.

Heat a deep skillet with about an inch of vegetable oil in it, with a small amount of chicken (or duck!) shmaltz for extra flavor.

When the oil begins to 'talk', but before you see any smoke (!), take a blob of the potato mixture and plop it in. Press gently with spatula so that it is flattish.

Repeat until there are three or four latkes in the pan.

Fry them until they're golden brown. Serve immediately. This means that you have to keep cooking selflessly while your family/guests inhale the latkes. You can have some of the last ones. The important thing is to keep slinging those latkes until no one can eat any more. Latkes can be kept warm in the oven, but they're not the same. Serve them with a bowl of applesauce and a bowl of sour cream.

Make sure that you skim the oil with a slotted spoon or with one of those clever oil skimmer you can buy in Asian cooking stores. Otherwise errant bits of one latke batch will begin to carbonize in the oil and smoke, making the subsequent batches taste burned even if they're not.

One option is to use vegetable oil that you've already fried something in, as the reused (and strained) oil will make the latkes crunchier.

Scrub the oil off every surface in the kitchen, including your eyeglasses, which will need to be soaked in Dawn®. Take a shower to remove the grease from your pores. Clean the blue and white wax drips off the menorah. Put the cat out. Pour yourself a glass of port from the bottle you tell everyone else is for company only. Fall asleep in the chair. Wake up at 4:00 ayem, crabby that your spouse didn't  notice that you aren't in bed and didn't come and get you...



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