Latkes (potato pancakes)
Comment: Traditional of Hanukkah in jewish families and quite a few others too, these potato pancakes are either eaten with just a little sea salt, or with sour cream or still with apple sauce. They are fried in oil which fills the house with a distinctive odor which will need days to fade away... (just kidding). They are part of the Hanukkah fare, along with sufganiyot, which you will find elsewhere on this site (try desserts),
which are also fried in oil ...
As for the baking powder or soda, I am sure it is optional and does not do much. I'll try without next time.
Makes 12 fair size latkes, 6 persons
1 kg Russet potatoes
300 g yellow onion
4 large egg
1 flush teaspoon salt
4 teaspoon baking powder ot 1 teaspoon baking soda (opt)
Turn on oven to 175F (80C), place a sheet pan with a rack for keeping the latkes hot.
Prepare a plate with several layers of paper towels.
Chop the onion.
In a bowl, mix together the eggs, S + P, the baking powder.
Peel and coarsly grate the potatoes.
Squeeze as much water as possible out of the potatoes (use paper towels of a kitchen towel to wring moisture out. You can also place them in a colander and let them drip while pressing on them.
Add the onion to the colander, add the egg mixture, mix well. Keep the mix in the colander as you cook the latkes.
Heat a skillet (thick to keep the heat constant) over medium high heat (5 to 7 mn) with about 3 mm of oil
Heat to 320F to 350F (160C to 180C) and carefully maintain the temperature during the cooking process (use a thermometer).
Use a shallow slotted spoon, to prepare the patties. Press them in the spoon to make a firm patty, 8 to 10 cm in diameter and ~1 cm thick. Ease the patty in the oil and flatten it a bit if necessary.
Ease the patties 1 at a time about 1 to 2 mn apart. No more than 2 possibly 3 at a time. Cook for a few mn until golden underneath. Turn and cook another couple of mn until golden. Place on paper towels for a few mn before placing them in the oven to keep warm.
Let them sit for 10 mn, serve sprinkled with kosher salt (optional), or sour cream with some chopped chive.