The time has come for frying latkes for Chanukah, but before you break out your oil and frying pan, make sure you aren’t making any rookie mistakes — courtesy of the The Nosher. If you’re looking for recipes to try out these tips, look no further than Lotsa Latkes!
1. Put On An Apron
Your clothes may get splattered, so wear something you don’t mind getting a bit greasy. You may want to invest in a splatter guard, and a friend of mine even recommends spreading newspaper on the floor below the stove to catch all those little pieces of potato and oil splatters.
2. Don’t Wring Out All the Liquid
Wringing out all the liquid is practically doctrine, but Michelin-star chef Bill Telepan suggests leaving some of that starchy liquid in the mix for the creamiest, crispiest latkes. Drain off some of the liquid, but if you leave in just enough, the difference will astound you.
3. Never Use Olive Oil
Use an oil with a high smoking point, otherwise your latkes will burn. Olive oil is definitely the wrong choice, but there are many other oils you can use such as safflower or sunflower oil. Vegetable or canola oil also work.
4. Make Sure You Test the Oil
Use a chopstick to test the oil before you start frying. Just place a chopstick in the hot oil before you begin frying — it should bubble around the chopstick if it’s ready. You can also use a wooden spoon.
5. Be Plentiful With Your Oil
Yeah, yeah, we are all watching our weight and health. But when it comes to frying latkes, it ain’t the time to be stingy with the oil.
Make sure the bottom of your pan is generously coated with oil, though you don’t want the latkes swimming in oil either. You also should plan to add some oil in between each batch, since the latkes will absorb oil each time.
6. Don’t Forget to Season
Don’t forget that potatoes need a lot of salt to really flavor them. But also, as soon as those hot fried latkes come out of the oil, sprinkle with a touch of salt. It really enhances the flavor.
7. Give the Latkes Space
Never ever ever stack your latkes on top of one another after they have fried, and don’t sit them on top of a paper towel either. Instead, place them on top of wire cooling racks over a baking sheet to give them space to drain and cool.
If latkes sit on one another or a paper towel they will get soggy and lose that coveted crisp.