Greasy stuff

(Potato latkes, frying up in a pan.)

I think my blog is unintentionally turning into a food blog.

I made potato latkes today.  It was all that talk and writing and reading about them that brought on the craving.  I’ve never made them before so I followed the recipe in a book I received for Christmas (we had an early Christmas this past weekend): How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food.  The author of the book, Mark Bittman was on the Today Show either yesterday or today (or some day recently) frying up latkes and that pretty much clinched it for me.  Or maybe it was the food and drink newsletter from the Chicago Tribune featuring latkes.  I wish I’d saved the link for the article as I can’t find it now.  It was an interesting article about the history of potato latkes and the significance of the oil, rather than the potato, that is important in the Jewish tradition.

Whatever the case in terms of reasons why I got it into my head to make latkes, the universe conspired, I craved, and today I grated and fried.

(It should be noted that the latkes weren’t really greasy but this post is following one called “Sticky Stuff” so I went with what came to mind.)

My father made potato pancakes when I was a child.  I think those were pretty rare occasions, but I do remember him making them.  He used his mother’s recipe.  Or at least I think he did.  I’ll have to ask him the next time I talk with him (probably tomorrow).

As mentioned earlier, I’ve never made them before.  Eaten them, yes.  But made them, no.  It was a pretty simple, straightforward kind of thing.  Potatoes, onions, eggs, and in my case, breadcrumbs (matzo meal is traditional), along with some salt and pepper to season them.  Oh, and the oil.  One of the recipes I read states as the final ingredient “too much oil.”  I used about an eighth of an inch of canola oil.  I grated the potatoes and onion (by hand, mind you, because it burns more calories and uses much less electricity than the food processor, plus I wanted them course) into a strainer and let them sit a bit to drain.  Then squeezed the whole mess for good measure, just to get them good and dry.

I beat an egg and mixed that and some breadcrumbs into the potatoes and onion mixture.  I heated the oil in a frying pan, then dropped the potato mix into the oil by huge spoonfuls, flattening them out with a spatula.

Eventually I ended up with this:

Okay, it’s a dreadful picture.  Not enough light, too close to the latke, etc.  But you get the idea.  And you can kind of see the oil frying around the edges.

We had them for lunch.  I served them with homemade applesauce and some Greek style yogurt in place of the traditional sour cream (because that’s what I had in the fridge).  Yummy, yummy, yummy.  I’m glad, though, that I only made a half batch as even that was more than two of us can eat in one sitting so I have a few leftovers.  I’m hoping they’ll reheat okay in the oven.  Or maybe I should put them back in the frying pan?

Suggestions on reheating are welcome.

Winter has been very strange this year.  We’re in a snow-ice-rain pattern.  The rain came down so heavy last night and today that I’m wondering if we’ll float away soon.

I guess that’s it from the Bogs for now.

Merry Christmas to all!  May all your Christmas dreams and wishes come true.