Despite the fact that it takes some kind of crazy to cook a separate meal while embedded in preparing a multi-course meal for a dinner party, yet another night of take-out — even from my beloved Kitchen Market — seemed unbearable last night, and seeing as it was the first night of Hanukah, it was only appropriate to make a batch of latkes. But tradition is so boring, isn’t it? Thank goodness for Food & Wine’s deliriously enticing latke-vodka party feature, pairing them with the wasabi cream topping, the suggested accompaniment for the sweet potato variety. Awesome, awesome. We skipped the caviar and whatnot on top as only one of us would have loved that and it was not the person standing over the stove, tra-la-la. It all went perfectly with a lightly-dressed napa cabbage salad and, you betcha, a hefty glass of wine.
And now, the kitchen yet again beckons. Soup! Tarts! Salad! Cheater’s creme anglaise! Those croutons aren’t going to toast themselves, lady.
- 1 pound zucchini (1 very large or 2 medium) zucchini
- 3/4 pound russet or idaho potato (about 1 large), peeled
- 1 small onion, peeled
- 1/2 cup matzo meal or 1/3 cup potato starch
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, plus additional wedges for serving
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
Cook the latkes: In a large skillet, heat 1/4-inch of oil over medium-high until shimmering. You can shape the latkes in one of two ways: In packed tablespoons or, as shown here, using a fork to twist the strands into a knot as you would twirl spaghetti on a fork. Carefully lower into the hot oil and cook until golden underneath. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden on the second side. Transfer to paper towels to blot excess oil then season with an extra sprinkle of salt. Repeat with remaining batter.
To serve: Serve warm with sour cream and wedges of lemon.
Do ahead: Latkes can be kept at room temperature for up to 4 hours. Reheat them on a baking sheet in a 375°F oven for about 5 minutes, or until warmed through and crisp. Latkes can also be frozen in an airtight container with layers of parchment paper between them for 1 month, then reheated from frozen until hot and crisped again.