We have Alain Ducasse to thank for the idea of making latkes as large as dinner plates. He suggested these years ago in the New York Times as a raft for stews, and Faith has been featuring the idea every Hanukkah ever since. This time our latke recipe is from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman. Of course you can make latkes any time of year and add in your choice of flavors, from grated cheese to cilantro and more. Deb Perelman makes a giant latke for brunch, then tops it with a fried egg. We think it’s a perfect base for our featured recipe, Italian Beef in Barolo Wine from PBS cooking star Lidia Bastianich.
- 1 baking potato large (1 pound) peeled
- 1 onion small (1/4 pound) peeled
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 1 egg large, lightly beaten
- vegetable oil or olive oil, for frying
- fried eggs (optional) to serve
- Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, and keep in oven until needed.
- In a food processor or on a box grater, coarsely shred the potato and onion. For longer, moplike strands, I prefer to lay the potato sideways in the chute of the food processor. Transfer the shredded mixture to a square of cheesecloth or lint-free dishtowel, and gather the ends to wring out as much water as possible. Let stand for 2 minutes, then squeeze it out again.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and egg together. Stir in the potato-onion mixture until all the pieces are evenly coated.
- In a small, heavy skillet (cast-iron, if you have one), heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until it shimmers. Drop one-quarter of the potato mixture into the skillet, and flatten with the back of a spoon to a 5-inch round. Cook the latke over moderate heat until the edges are golden, about 4 to 5 minutes; flip, and cook until golden on the bottom, about 3 to 4 minutes more.
- Transfer latke to the prepared baking sheet in the oven. Repeat process with remaining latke batter in three batches, creating a total of four large latkes, being sure to add more oil as needed and letting it fully reheat between pancakes. Keep latkes warm in oven until needed.
- Serve latkes warm in four wedges with eggs or whole with a fried egg atop each.
Do ahead: Latkes are a do-aheader's dream. You can also keep the latkes warm in the oven, on low heat, for an hour or more, if you're waiting for stragglers to arrive. If already cooked, they keep well in the fridge for a day or two, or in the freezer, well wrapped, for up to 2 weeks. Reheat the latkes in a single layer on a cookie sheet in a 300-degree oven until they're crisp again.
Bonus: If you undercooked them a bit, or didn't get them as brown as you'd hoped, you can compensate for this in the oven.
Cooking note: For neat edges and a thinner rostilike appearance, you can press each pancake into a 6-inch skillet and proceed to cook according to directions. For lacy, craggy-edged latkes, form the pancakes in a larger pan.
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