Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Latkes - Gluten Free Potato Pancakes

Potato latkes are a favorite food during Hannukkah.  Hanukkah is the Jewish festival of lights and although they only had enough oil to burn their candles for one night it magically lasted 8 nights.  In addition to lighting the menorah and eating sufganiyot (jelly donuts) we eat potato pancakes or latkes.

These are great anytime of year and at anytime.  Make them for breakfast, have for a snack, this time of year they become a dinner time appetizer.  There are numerous ways to make them.  Many people add flour, some add eggs, some add cornstarch.  I have made them every way and I like them best made simple - potatoes, onions and salt.  Cornstarch or eggs are a simple GF binding agents and if you want to use eggs add 1 beaten egg for 3 large potatoes big.  But for a nice size, tasty latka you can get by with out it.

For this batch I grated 3 large russet potatoes after pealing them.  I also grated in 1/2 of a large yellow onion.  Next take it all and place into a heavy dish cloth, or cheesecloth and twist it into a ball.  You will wring out about a cup or two of water and potato starch.  Add to a bowl and add salt (pinch for each potato - for the 3 potatoes I used I added 3 pinches of kosher salt).

Next, get a deep pan and add oil.  Choose an oil that has a high flash point (olive oil is a no no); I usually use peanut oil or grapeseed oil.  Tonight I choose peanut, heat over medium to med-high.  Turn on your kitchen vents - the house will smell like oil.  Take you mixture (shredded potatoes, onions & salt) and pat and mold into little cakes.  Gently place in the hot oil.

Cook until the bottom is nice and crisp and then flip.

As I make the batch I place them on a sheet pan lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.  Alternatively, you can place on a rack and let the oil drop below onto paper towel.

Usually I lose a few as people walk by and eat them off the pan.  Once the batch is done I remove the paper towels and heat the batch in the oven at 350 degrees before serving.

These are good enough to eat plain.  Having something to dip them in adds some flavor.  My favorite is apple sauce.  A good runner up is sour cream.  I like to mix a finely cut bunch of fresh chives with about 1 cup of sour cream, alternatively you can use plain sour cream.


The Un-Gluten Guy

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