Charles Sanft (University of Washington)
This is my personal version of latkes which I assembled from comparing a number of recipes from various cookbooks and experimenting with those recipes.
Latkes taste good if cooked in the fat leftover from cooking kielbasa or the like (or, of course, butter), but they can be cooked without any oil for a sort of lower-fat version. Along the same lines, sometimes I use no-fat yoghurt instead of sour cream to top them. Some authorities recommend eating these with applesauce, but I have never found that quite as fulfilling as sour cream.
This is a good recipe for using up potatoes. Having mastered it, no one need fear to buy a 10 lb bag of potatoes when on these are on sale.
3 potatoes (not too big, not too small)
1 heaping tbsp flour
1/4 of a largish onion
1 egg (chicken)
Salt and Pepper
Butter (or other tasty fat)
Scrub the potatoes thoroughly; do not peel. Grate (coarse) the potatoes. Sprinkle them with a little salt and let them sit in a bowl for 15-20 minutes (or a bit longer), then drain off the liquid that accumulates.
Meanwhile, grate the 1/4 onion. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg.
Heat a large frying pan to medium-hot (a non-stick pan is better than an ordinary one). Put in some butter to melt (optionaly; in a good no-stick pan, no fat is needed to cook these). (Alternately, you can first cook some sausage in the frypan, then keep some of that oil to fry the latkes. This is tasty, but perhaps too, uh, er, "decadent" for many people).
Mix the grated potatoes and onion; add in the egg, flour, and pepper to taste.
You can make the pancakes with your hands if you like, in which case just grab some and make a patty about 1/2" thick. I like to use a spoon to scoop the mix onto the hot frypan, shaping the patties with the spoon. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes, then flip and cook
until crispy and done.
Eat the latkes with sour cream, washing them down with beer.