Refine Your Latke Strategy

Whether you are making latkes for a few or for a crowd, the basic preparation is the same, and the most important factors are getting the moisture out and serving them hot and crisp, say Chowhounds.

Hounds have success making latkes with either russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, and say that whether to peel or not is a personal decision, but that leaving the peel on before grating the potatoes doesn't have an adverse effect. "The biggest secret to crispy latkes is to thoroughly drain the potatoes," says Diane in Bexley. "I wring them out in a cotton towel to remove all moisture." Squeezing the grated potatoes in a ricer is another popular method.

Hounds fry in peanut oil or a neutral vegetable oil. Don't drain latkes on paper towels, says Ruth Lafler; the heat trapped under the food will create steam, making the latkes soggy. Instead, Ruth puts just-cooked latkes in a single layer on a rack over a baking sheet in a warm oven.

If you're serving a crowd or have other obligations and wish to cook many latkes in advance, here are a few tricks to minimize sogginess. Instead of stacking cooked latkes before holding in the refrigerator or freezer, says Nyleve, try placing rows of them vertically, on their edges, in a large pan. "This keeps them from weighing each other down and compressing the cooked latkes," she says. To reheat, place them in a single layer on a rack over a baking sheet in the oven; this allows both sides to recrisp.

heidiepie prefers to involve her guests in the making of latkes as part of the celebration of a holiday that is, after all, about the miracle of oil. "I'd never consider not making people at least bear witness to the frying," she says. "What, they should go home without their clothes smelling of grease?"

Need a recipe? Try CHOW's.

Discuss: What kind of potato for latkes? What kind of oil?
Latkes for a Crowd

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