Hanukkah, the eight-day festival of light, began at sunset on Saturday. We got into the holiday spirit with Jack Lebewohl of the 2nd Avenue Deli. He prepared his signature latkes.
Potato Pancakes or Latkes (makes 20)
Reprinted from The 2nd Ave Deli Cookbook
2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 large onions (use 1 1/2 cups grated; don't tamp down)
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup corn oil
1 cup flour
2 l/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups matzo meal
1/2 cup corn oil for frying
non-dairy or regular sour cream
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor, fine-grate potatoes (don't liquefy; leave some texture), and strain to eliminate excess liquid. Don't overdo it; just let the water drain out. Fine-grate onions, and mix in a large bowl with potatoes.
Note: If you don't have a food processor, you can grind the potatoes and onions in a meat grinder.
2. Add eggs, baking powder, 3/4 cup corn oil (most of it cooks out), flour, salt, and pepper; mix well. Fold in matzo meal, making sure that everything is thoroughly blended.
3. Heat 1/2 cup corn oil in a deep skillet. Spoon batter (use a large kitchen spoon) into the pan to create pancakes about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. Fry on low heat for 3 to 4 minutes until underside is a deep golden brown, turn, and fry for another minute or two. Drain on paper towel. Serve with applesauce and/or sour cream.