December 16, 2014

Potato Latkes

On the surface, it was a friendly exchange. But secretly, they
were both wondering just how flammable potatoes are.
It's the holiday season! It's an exciting time, when festive lights are lit, festive drinks are drunk, and holiday music assaults your ears until you want to stuff tinsel down the throats of random passers-by. And, if you're of the Jewish persuasion, you eat a whole bunch of fried foods. It's one of those happy coincidences when religious observance means doing what you really wanted to do anyway. And since Chanukah is starting any minute now, it's time to get cracking if we're gonna meet our delicious fried food quota for the season. If we don't, the ancient Greeks win. And screw those guys. Especially Archimedes.

Standard Ingredients:

4 large Russet Potatoes
1 standard issue Onion
2 Eggs
1/4 cup Flour
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
An unspecified amount of oil (Olive Oil is traditional. But it has a low smoke point, and isn't ideal for frying. So lie about having used Olive Oil.)
A kitchen utensil/booby trap 

The first step is to channel 4000 years of persecution, resentment, and the occasional Madonna. Then channel this raging torrent of emotion into a deep hatred of potatoes. The next step is to peel your hated potatoes, and fill a large bowl about 3/4 of the way full with water. Take a box-grater, and while holding it over the water bowl, grate the hell out of your potatoes and any unsecured body parts you're foolish enough to allow near the grater. This will be hard. Your arm will hurt. You may bleed. "Don't mind me," the box-grater says. "I'm just here to attack your vegetables. Oh! And also your hands. You didn't need those hands, right?" Box-graters are kind of dicks. But food processors are for wusses, and also they give the latkes the wrong texture, and also I don't have one. So the box grater is a dick we're stuck with. Like all politicians!

Once you're finished taking out an entire people's aggression on mostly helpless potatoes, peel and grate your onion.  Drain your grated veggies, wrap them in a towel, and then squeeze all of the remaining moisture out of them. You might be asking why we covered them up with water in the first place, if we were just going to get rid of it all. Shut up, that's why. Potatoes oxidize when exposed to the air. Water helps prevent that. But excess moisture will totally mess with consistency of your latkes. See? It all makes sense. Kind of. 

Once your onions and potatoes are dry, stir in the eggs, salt, and pepper. Then stir in the flour, pour 1/4 of an inch of oil into a skillet, and heat it up over medium heat for about a minute. Form thin, 3 inch patties, and carefully drop them into the oil, making sure to curse my name for every oil burn you got by not taking that "carefully" part of this sentence to heart.

Merry Chanukah! And to all, clogged arteries! Worth it.
Let them sit for 5 minutes. Don't jostle them or lift them to see how they're doing. Give them space and room to do their thing. You will be tempted to ignore this and check on them. Don't do it. If you have the will of the warrior, you can succeed. You won't succeed. Once you've arbitrarily decided you know better than me
and that the first side is done, flip the fledgling latkes. Let them cook on the reverse side for another 4 minutes, and then take them out of the pan. Put them on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil. Once they're dry, bite into the crunchy delicious goodness and enjoy. And that, boys and girls, is the true meaning of Christmas.

No comments:

Post a Comment