Oven-Fried Potato Latkes
Latkes, or crisp onion-scented potato pancakes, are a traditional Jewish holiday dish. Go to any Hanukah party and you’ll find an apron-clad Jewish mother or grandmother standing at the stove frying and doling them out – a tradition I loved and cherished until I became the poor mother who had to make them. Cooking short-order style, hot oil splattering all over the kitchen, children running underfoot – no thank you! Enter these oven-fried latkes. They’re no healthier, mind you, but just as good, half the mess and so much easier.
As a rule, I try not to share recipes here that might only appeal to a certain group of people but latkes are so good, they deserve to break out into the mainstream. If you like hash browns or a classic French potato galette, I can guarantee you’ll love them. Plus they go beautifully with meat and make a delicious and inexpensive holiday hors d’oeuvre, served plain or as little canapés.
Begin by coarsely grating the potatoes and onion together in a food processor or by hand.
Transfer the potato mixture to a fine sieve and press down firmly with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Repeat a few times with fresh paper towels until most of liquid is drained.
Combine the potato mixture with the eggs, salt, baking powder and flour.
Next, get your pans ready. You’ll need two non-stick rimmed baking sheets. Pour 1/2 cup of oil on each one. Don’t be tempted to line the pans with foil to save time on clean-up; I’ve tried it and the latkes stick. With the non-stick pans, the pancakes slide right off and clean up is a breeze. (I cannot emphasize enough the importance of non-stick pans for this recipe; if you don’t use them, the latkes will stick.)
Place the pans in the oven for ten minutes to heat the oil. Wearing oven mitts, carefully remove the hot pans from the oven and drop the potato mixture by the 1/4-cupful on the baking sheets. Flatten just slightly with the bottom of the measuring cup.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until the first side is golden brown. Then carefully remove the pans from the oven and flip the latkes.
Continue baking until the latkes are crisp and brown all over, about 10 minutes more. Drain on a large platter lined with paper towels.
Serve with sour cream and applesauce, if desired.
Enjoy and Happy Hanukah to all who celebrate!
Note: Latkes are best served warm out of the oven. I do not recommend making them ahead of time.
Oven-Fried Potato Latkes
- 2 pounds russet potatoes (2-3)
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled (about the size of a baseball)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 scant teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- Equipment: 2 heavy non-stick rimmed baking sheets*
- Set oven racks in center preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Peel the potatoes, then coarsely grate them with the onion together in food processor or by hand using a box grater. Place potato mixture in a fine sieve and press down firmly with paper towel to remove excess moisture. Stir and repeat a few times with fresh paper towels until liquid is mostly drained. Transfer potato mixture to bowl and mix in eggs, salt, baking powder and flour.
- Fill two heavy non-stick rimmed baking sheets with 1/2 cup oil each. Place pans in oven for 10 minutes to heat the oil. Wearing oven mitts, carefully remove pans from oven. Drop batter by the 1/4-cupful onto baking sheets, spacing about 1-1/2 inches apart. Using the bottom of the measuring cup or a spoon, press down on pancakes to flatten just slightly. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bottoms are crisp and golden. Carefully remove pans from oven and flip latkes (tongs are the best tool as a spatula may cause oil to splatter). Place pans back in oven and cook until latkes are crisp and golden brown all over, about 10 minutes more. Remove pans from oven and transfer latkes to large platter lined with paper towels. Serve immediately with sour cream or apple sauce, if desired.
- *It is very important to use non-stick baking sheets so the latkes don't stick.
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