Thursday, December 17, 2009

Lotsa Latkes!!

"Stop! Stop running in the oil, HOT OIL...I'M FRYING!" Serious danger zone at all hours.
I make latkes once a year and ONLY during Hanukkah. Latkes are one of the very few dishes I actually dread making but ALWAYS end up making a ton once I start. Slightly different every year but always packed with veggies. This year, zucchini and carrots - SO delicious, even the pickiest kid will love em.

Shopping can cheer anyone up, right! I bought a brand new Cuisinart! With my sleek silver shiny new food processor, I am GUNG HO for grating and chopping.

(makes 275-300 latkes!)
olive oil, to fry many batches of latkes
3/8 cup salt
2T fresh ground pepper
2T granulated garlic
2T sesame seeds
10 large russet potatoes
10 medium zucchini
1 big carrot
2 cup matzoh meal
22 eggs
3 big sweet onion
1 bunch scallion

First, the Zucchini. Cut them in half length-wise. Remove the center seeds with a spoon or round tool-thing like the one in the picture (it punches out holes - what is it?!).
Prep the onions and carrots for the food processor. Cut the onion length-wise into 1.5-2 inch chucks. Cut carrots into 1 inch chunks.
Use the Shredding Disc to grate all the zucchini first in 2-3 batches. I love my new Cusinart!
Transfer the shredded zucchini into very large mixing bowl lined with paper towels. (The bowl should be large enough to hold all the ingredients.) The paper towels will soak up all the excess moisture juices.
Peel and cut up the potatos length-wise to fit into the food processor. Use the Shredding Disc to grate them in the food processor in 2-3 batches.
Then squeeze out all the juice from the potatoes. I use a strainer with tiny wholes, pressing down with my hands or small metal bowl (see picture below). Look at all the fluid coming out! (This is probably the most labor-consuming part of the recipe.)
Add the grated potatoes to the zucchini mixture.
Next use the Shredding Disc to grate the onions and strain them using the strainer-bowl technique. Onions will release LOTS of onion juice.
Next up, carrots. Switch to the Chopping/Mixing blade and chop up the carrots into a coarse grainy bunch.
Chop chop chop carrots!
Add the grainy carrots to the mixture of zucchini, potatoes, onion. Toss and mix. I always use gloves (nonlatex surgical gloves) to mix and toss large batches of food. Gloves are great to protect hands and they keep fingernails clean! I don't do well with mixing spoons, as I always ALWAYS end up with food splashing and tossed all over the place.
While tossing, add salt and pepper evenly. Remember potatoes absorb lots of salt!
Next add the eggs. Crack the eggs in a separate bowl to make sure no shells accidentally slip in. There is nothing worse than biting into a latke and crunching some eggshell - awful!
Next pour in the matzoh meal.
Now with your protected gloved hands, toss the entire mixture evenly, mashing up the eggs.
Keep working it!
Now it is time to fry ALL OF THIS! Transfer some of the mixture to a smallish bowl that is easy to handle with one hand. Use a Tablespoon to measure.
Generously coat a frying pan with oil. Transfer a small heaping tablespoonful to the frying pan one at a time. Add a heaping Tablespoon to the oil, careful keeping each spoonful separate. Flame high to medium. (To get through faster, I use 3 frying pans at once.)
Watch for the edges to brown a bit, like in the picture. Use a spatula or fork with a spoon to flip each latke over to cook the other side.
The bottoms should be a delicious crispy brown color with a moist center.
Transfer the fried latkes to trays lined with papertowels. The papertowels will soak up excess oil. Serve immediately or store.
If you cook the entire mixture, you will have about 300 latkes! I store the latkes on trays lined with parchment paper. BON APPETIT!
Then seal with plastic wrap the entire trays. This way, to reheat, I just need to remove the plastic and place the entire tray into the oven at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes.
(Can't cook in silence. Select foods call for select playlists. These latkes were made with LOVE in the dead of night to the screaming sounds of MSI, Placebo and NIN with slick new Skullcandy earbuds with an iPod nano!)

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