To be perfectly honest, I'm glad Chanukah comes but once a year. I hate frying.
The smell clings to my hair and clothes and leaves my home less hygge and more haimishe in terms of odour. Not the sophisticated scent I want to welcome visitors with.
Despite the whiff and the danger to my arteries of deep frying, I'll admit to enjoying a crunchy latke (or two), especially with a slathering of apple sauce or for brunch, with creme fraiche and smoked salmon.
And rather than grate my knuckles on the box grater, I've taken to spiralising my potatoes. It takes half the time and makes for a more interesting finish. Lazier still, I use finely chopped spring onions - which don't leave me panda-like nor with hands smelling so strongly of onion my children recoil.
Here is the recipe I'll be cooking up this year - before lighting an entire box of scented candles, dumping my clothes in the washing machine and rushing for the shower.
Spiralised potato latkes with dill crème fraiche and smoked salmon
The key to crisp latkes is as dry a mixture as possible. They freeze brilliantly, so make extra and then next time all you need to do is reheat them in a hot oven for 5-10 minutes - no frying needed!
Makes: 20 approx depending how large you make them
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes
750g baking potatoes, peeled
6 spring onions, finely diced
¾ tsp salt
45g plain flour
oil, for frying
For the dill crème fraiche:
20g fresh dill
salt and pepper
Garnish: Smoked salmon
- Cut the edge off both ends of the potatoes to make a flat end and run them through a spiralizer to get strings of potato spirals. If not using immediately, place the potato strands in a large bowl of cold water. When you are ready to make the latkes, drain off the water and tip the potatoes onto a clean tea towel.
- Squeeze as hard as you can to remove as much liquid as possible.
- Put in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.
- Heat about 2cm depth of oil over a medium flame in a large frying pan.
- Shape the mixture with your hands into golf ball-sized patties, squeezing out the liquid as you go. Lay them on a baking sheet. You will only cook a few at a time so you can continue shaping whilst the others are frying.
- Once the oil is hot enough (test it by dropping a tiny piece of potato into the oil. If the oil is hot enough, it should immediately start to sizzle) use a fish slice to transfer the latkes to the pan.
- Fry for about 2-3 minutes, until golden, then carefully flip over and fry for about another two minutes.
- Serve immediately, or cool then freeze them then reheat in a hot oven to crisp them up.
- For the dill crème fraiche: reserve a little dill to use as a garnish, then chop the rest finely and stir into the crème fraiche. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste.
- Serve the hot latkes with smoked salmon and dill crème fraiche to spoon over it.