Potato Pancakes (Latkes)
For a more “gourmet” touch, replace the yogurt and sour cream topping with whipped cream infused with an apple liqueur.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 4–6
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
- 4 russet or purple potatoes
- ½ red onion
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil, or as needed
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup natural yogurt
In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg, stirring in the salt and pepper. Peel and grate the potatoes, squeezing out any excess liquid. Peel and finely chop the onion.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix the potatoes and onion with the lightly beaten egg and the flour.
In a heavy-bottomed frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Carefully add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the potato mixture. Use a spatula to gently press the mixture down into the shape of a small pattie. Brown briefly, then turn and brown the other side. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Stir 1 tablespoon of the chives into the sour cream, and the remaining tablespoon into the yogurt. Serve the yogurt and sour cream with the potato latkes.
The Yiddish Kitchen
The dishes that define Yiddish cuisine came out of Central and Eastern Europe. Having evolved in the shtetls (the small towns and villages once inhabited by Jews, before the Holocaust), these are the foods considered by most Americans and Europeans to be typically “Jewish.” Among them are gefilte fish (fish balls made of finely minced carp, pike, or a mixture of both, served in their own jelly and often with horseradish), kishke (a peppery blend of bread crumbs, chicken fat, and onions prepared sausagelike in beef casings), and knaidlach (egg and matzo meal–based dumplings). Other popular offerings include kreplach (dumplings filled with ground meat or cheese and boiled or fried) and latkes (fried potato pancakes), often served with applesauce.