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H’s Grandma Dot’s Latkes

I don’t have Dot’s (my late grandmother) recipe handy, I think it lives in a box at my mom’s house. And over the years, the recipe has become sort of “by feel” rather than exact, so here goes with just estimated quantities. ~ h

H’s Grandma Dot’s Latkes
by h

  • 6 jumbo russet potatoes (think massive steak house style) peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3-4 LARGE onions (or more, I like it oniony) cut into chunks
  • 3 eggs
  • Flour – the final amount depends on how thick the batter turns out, but we’re talking tablespoon measurements, not like half a cup.
  • Water – same as above. You want the batter to be thin, not too thin, but maybe like Swedish pancake thin, incidentally, that’s about how thin you want the pancakes to be as well
  • 1/4 c oil (and more for frying)
  • salt and pepper (start out moderate, you can adjust the batter after the first pancake for more s&p)

Blend the above in batches so you don’t overwork the blender, and so you can make sure it’s smooth.

Layer paper towels on a baking tray, put in oven on warm/lowest setting

Heat oil in large heavy pan, make sure it’s super hot – put a drop of batter in to make sure it sizzles

Ladle in batter, I try to do about three at once. The batter should spread out and once you see the edges get lacy, flip. the batter is so thin, you shouldn’t need much time on the other side.

The end result resembles these czeck potato pancakes called bramborák, and I searched google images for an image that would give you an example of how thin they should be, this is close, except the edges aren’t lacy and crunchy looking, but the thinness is pretty representative: http://www.zs-uhaldy.cz/soutez-o-nejchutnejsi-bramborak/

Remove the pancakes and put on the paper towel lined tray to absorb the grease and stay warm while making the rest. Leave one out to taste and adjust seasoning. Also, if they are too thick, add water, too thin, add flour.

Continue with the rest of the batter, try not to eat them all while you are making them.

Check the batter occasionally, as it will thicken while it sits, so you’ll need to add more water here and there.

Obviously you’ll need to continue adding more oil to the pan.

So… you’ve got 3/4 (or more!) batter left in the bowl and you’re sick to death of making pancakes and you just want to eat them, but you don’t want to waste the batter. Take a cake pan (or smaller depending on how much batter is left), add oil to the bottom, like you’re making yorkshire pudding or a popover, about enough to cover the bottom, turn the oven WAY up (remove warming pancakes first), stick the pan with some oil in for about 15-20 mins. In the meantime, add a bit more flour to the pancake batter so it’s about as thick as regular pancake batter. Take pan out after 15ish mins, pour the batter in (should sizzle and make the bottom browned and crispy), bake on 350 till… done. The length of time depends on how much batter you have. If it fills the whole cake pan, maybe 45 mins or so. Then take it out, and now you have that other jewish potato treat: potato kugel.

Not all blended potato pancakes are thin, some are pretty thick, I think they might have matzoh meal added. They’re still better than grated potato pancakes. In fact, once you’ve had blended ones, if you then have grated ones, you’ll be like “Oh… hash browns *shrug*.”

If you’re too lazy… I mean busy… to make your own, try the Original Pancake House (not IHOP), they make really thin potato pancakes. They aren’t perfect because they’re usually kind of gritty, but they’re nice and thin and pretty good.

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