Thursday, February 3, 2011
Latkas for Dinner... why not???
Many countries can claim these potato pancakes as their "traditional" dish, but, they are the NATIONAL DISH only of Belarus, where they are known as DERUNY. Latka is in fact a Yiddish word. Possibly most commonly associated with celebrating Hanukkah, with the oil used in the frying reminiscent of the oil from the Hanukkah story that kept the Second Temple of ancient Israel lit with a long-lasting flame that is celebrated as a miracle.
Me, I like them just about anytime... Evey once in awhile, i make a few for dinner.
The ingredient list is pretty simple. I will give them to you in ratio form, so you can make as many as you need (good rule of thumb, 1 potato per person).
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
That is all that is in a traditionalLatka. I sometimes add a bit of diced green bell pepper to add some color, but this is certainly optional. When I go really nuts, a bit of ground fresh ginger spices them up a smidgen more!!!
You can use a standard box grater to get the potato into the form you need for a Latka. But, a food processor makes fast work for prepping. Grate the potatoes, grate the onion. As you transfer them from the processor bowl, squeeze as much of the natural water out of the mix, and plop into a second bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan on medium setting. Form into pancake shape. You should get two pancakes from each potato you grated.
Fry them in the oil until they are golden brown on each side (takes about 5 minutes per side). Allow them to rest on a paper towel to allow some of the excess oil to wick off.
Serve with either sour cream or applesauce.
And since no animals were harmed in the making of these gems...
This is my meatless meal this week!