I do love potato latkes. The simple crispy cakes, hot from the stove and topped with sour cream and applesauce, are a piece of my childhood. My Bubbie made them from scratch, as does my mother. In the past few years, though, I have cheated and gone with the frozen Trader Joes latkes. They are really good, and a lot less work! This year, though, I knew I had to get down and dirty and make them myself.
I wanted to play around with the basic recipe, so I turned to an old Rachael Ray favorite. I know, I know...some of you can't stand her, but I think she's pretty fun. This version is delicious, but a bit messy to make. Frying anything leads to spatters and burns, with lots of oil drips all around. Just be ready to clean up afterwards!
Oh, and don't be like me and grate everything by hand. How on EARTH did I forget that I have a grater insert for my Cuisinart?? That was a fun realization. I was talking to my cousin, Paige, who made 3 dozen (!!!!!) latkes for a family Hanukkah party. I commented that I got such a good arm workout from grating everything, and she just stared at me and said "Um, I used my food processor."
Potato and Gouda Latkes
adapted from Rachael Ray
2 pounds all purpose potatoes, such as Russets, about 3 large potatoes, peeled and shredded
1 small onion, grated
3 TBS all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups shredded smoked gouda cheese, the yield of an 8-ounce piece
Vegetable oil, for frying
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add a thin layer of olive oil or vegetable oil to the pan, just enough to coat the bottom.
Combine potatoes with onions and flour. Mix in shredded cheese. Spoon piles of potato and cheese mixture into the pan, making 3-inch rounds, 1-inch apart. Cook cakes until golden and crispy, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove cooked cakes and repeat process.
Serve hot with sour cream and applesauce.