Potato Latkes with Pear-Ginger Chutney

Have you been dying to know what’s behing door #3? (you know, in the upper left corner?) I thought so. And I apologize for being a little behind – but I’m hoping to share a second treat a little while later today, to make it up to you.

The third latke in the trio is a potato latke. Shocking, I know. But don’t go away just yet – it’s the topping that makes it a little extra special.

Potato latkes are usually served with either applesauce or sour cream (not both at the same time though! It’s a common goyish mistake 😉 ) I prefer the former – sweet, freshly made applesauce is something out of this world on top of a hot, salty fried potatoes. To take it up a notch, I made a ginger-pear chutney. And I must say – the spicy-sweetness made it hard to eat just one of these!

I also want to note that actually publishing a latke recipe is a big step for me. I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve failed in the past few years when they ask me for a good latke recipe. The fact is, I didn’t have one, because latkes were something I made more by feel and sight than set quantities. This is one instance where technique matters, and it doesn’t always come across in a recipe. When making potato latkes, it’s really important to remove excess liquid from the grated potatoes and onions. The problem is that just when you think you’re done – there’s more. I’ve had the best results working in small batches so that the latke batter is not sitting around for a long time, releasing more moisture. So this means that even when preparing latkes for a crowd, I’ll only grate no more than 2 pounds of potatoes at a time. The rest have to wait! It may seem a little tedious and more time-consuming, but I promise, it’s worth it.

Potato Latkes
2 lbs potatoes*
2 small onions
3 eggs
6 tablespoons (45gm) flour
2 teaspoons salt
freshly ground pepper
canola oil, for frying

Peel the potatoes (if you are peeling more potatoes to make more batches of latkes, you can peel them all now, but keep them in a bowl covered with cold water.)

If potatoes were soaking in water, dry them off with a towel and cut them into 1″ chunks. (This is a important because otherwise you will end up with longer shreds of potatoes, and it’s hard to make small latkes with long strands of potatoes. With smaller pieces, everything holds together better.) Grate the potatoes using the shredding disk on a food processor. Cut the onion into chunks and grate into the potatoes. Line a colander with several sheets of paper towels. Transfer the potatoes and onions to the colander, cover with more paper towels, and press to extract moisture.

Place the potatoes and onions in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients; toss together with your hands to fully combine.

Place a large, deep skillet or dutch oven over high heat. Add about 1/4″ of oil. When the oil is hot, drop the potato mixture by scant 1/4 cup-fulls Be sure not to crowd the pan, or the latkes will be difficult to flip. Let cook for 10-20 seconds, then gently flatten them a bit. Cook until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes, then turn and cook other side until browned. Remove to paper towels to drain. Serve hot with ginger-pear chutney.

Latkes may be kept warm in a 300F oven until ready to serve. Or, latkes my be frozen after draining. Freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet, then transfer to freezer bags. When ready to serve, place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 400F. Place frozen latkes on the hot baking sheet and cook for 10-15 minutes, depending on size.

* I have found that different kinds of potatoes result in slightly different latkes. Russets, which I used to make the latkes in my Latke Benny, result in a very crispy latke with a darker exterior, yet still tender on the inside. These are my favorites. For the batch of latkes pictured here, I used “Eastern Potatoes.” I’m not quite sure what that means – it just happened to be what the hubs picked up from the supermarket. I found these latkes to be lighter and a little more like – dare I say it – a McDonald’s hash brown (that’s if they still make them the way they did 20 years ago which is probably the last time I had one.) And no, I’m not saying that resemblance is a bad thing!

Ginger-Pear Chutney

2 ripe Bosc pears, peeled, cored and diced
juice from 1 lemon
6 packets of Truvia, or other sweetener equivalent to 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup chopped red onion
pinch of allspice
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons (30gm) golden raisins
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1-2 cinnamon sticks
1-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Combine all ingredients in a small slow-cooker. If you have a large slow-cooker, put the ingredients in a covered ceramic dish small enough to fit inside your slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

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3 Responses to “Potato Latkes with Pear-Ginger Chutney”

  1. 1

    Joanne — December 24, 2010 @ 6:48 pm Reply

    Thanks for the latke making tip! I dont have a latke recipe either (understandable given my shiksa status) but I want one badly! This looks delicious!

  2. 2

    Lisa — December 24, 2010 @ 7:57 pm Reply

    The chutney sounds wonderful on top! I've never had anything but applesauce, but it sounds amazing!

  3. 3

    Nmehelich2 — July 4, 2011 @ 2:46 pm Reply

    My aunt told me that to make it so that she wasn't spending the whole party making latkes, she would make them ahead of time.  She'd fry them up, then put them on paper towels in the fridge.  Then she'd put the oven on low when people got there, line cookie trays with paper bags and paper towels, then put the latkes on top and reheat them.  I'm going to try it next year.

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