Friday, December 3, 2010

Latke night!

As a child, I'm not entirely sure I associated latkes with potatoes. All I knew for certain is they appeared, along with the electric menorah, each year at Hanukkah. The arrival of that familiar little box from Manischewitz -- or Streit's, depending on what side of town my mother shopped that day -- was a happy sight. Just add an egg and water, let the oil shimmer in an electric skillet and, l'chaim, latkes.

As recently as a few years ago, I used boxed latke mix for our annual Hannukkah soiree, during which Tim regaled neighbors with his coloful version of noble Judith tempting wicked Halofrenes with salty cheese and jug wine. I'm a bit embarassed by that now -- not just because I used a mix for guests, but because the real deal not only is easy to make but also takes scarcely more effort.

This year I decided to try Golden Panko Latkes, one of the recommended picks on Food52. Just before dinner, though, I realized I had no potatoes. Or applesauce. Or sour cream.

After returning from the store, I wished I'd taken another look at the recipe before I left, as I only had a handful of the key namesake ingredient. While it's generally smarter, not to mention better culinary etiquette, to make a recipe as directed the first time, I decided I'd rather punt than return to the store.

So after adding a pouch of cheddar mashed potato mix to the panko -- don't snicker; I've done it before and it works -- I decided I might as well change it up some more. I added about half of a small onion, shredded, and a handful of minced parsley.

The mix yielded a generous batch of latkes, which hardly absorbed any oil. That was a good thing because -- must I say it? -- I was almost out of canola, too. Not sure if I should credit the miracle of the everlasting Hannukkah oil or the seemingly oil-repellent coating, but about a cup of oil was plenty for the entire recipe.

Serve with sour cream and applesauce, of course, and crank up Hanukkah Rocks by The LeeVees.

No comments:

Post a Comment