Sunday, December 28, 2008

Latkes-- Finally! with zaatar aioli

We finally made latkes for Hanukkah. I waited until my in-laws were here-- that way the trouble it takes to make them would be worth it and they could do most of the clean up (Thanks!). Actually, I didn't make them at all. Ron did most of the work. Ron doesn't cook much but certain things must seem like a "man's job" to him-- making pancakes, eggs, grilling outdoors, cooking edamame and making latkes. Those are his specialties. We used a simple recipe. What I contributed, however, was a delicious za'atar aioli.

This very basic potato pancake recipe is from Jewish Cookery by Leah W. Leonard (Crown Publishers, 1949). It always works.
Serves 4-6.

6 medium potatoes
1 onion
2 eggs
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
Vegetable shortening or oil for deep frying (I use peanut oil, but any kind of vegetable oil will do)

Pare and grate potatoes into a mixing bowl. Squeeze out liquid. Peel and grate onion into potatoes. (I grate both together in the food processor). Add eggs, flour and salt and stir to make a smooth batter that will drop heavily from the spoon. Heap the shortening in a heavy frying pan (use a heavy, cast-iron skillet for the best results), using enough to cover the pancakes amply — about a 1/2-inch deep. Drop the batter from a spoon into the hot shortening, making pancakes about 3 inches in diameter. Fry over moderate heat until brown on the underside, turn to brown other side. Lift out and drain off excess fat on paper towel. Serve plain, with sour cream or applesauce.


1 large garlic clove, peeled
1 cup mayonnaise
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup za'atar spice mix
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