Frankenstein Latkes 32.000

Julia Ewan - The Washington Post

Dec 17, 2008

The name refers neither to size nor to neck bolts in the ingredient list, but to techniques and ideas cobbled together from several potato pancake recipes. They all make this one work well for producing lots of latkes for a crowd without using a lot of oil.

The recipe calls for a food processor fitted with a shredding disk; the potatoes and parsnips also can be grated by hand against the large holes of a box grater.

Once all the ingredients are prepped, the latkes can be formed and laid on a large sheet of parchment paper. They will hold at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, or they can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Let them sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before oven-frying.

Serve with sour cream and applesauce.

Servings: 32

Yield: Makes 2 1/2-inch latkes

  • 5 medium (unpeeled; about 2 pounds) red potatoes
  • 2 to 3 medium parsnips, peeled and trimmed
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup matzoh meal (may substitute fine plain dried bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • Pinch baking powder
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg white
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and just cover with cool tap water. Bring to a boil over high heat; once the water has come to a boil, cook for 10 minutes (it's best to use a timer for accuracy; the potatoes should not cook longer than that).

While the potatoes are parboiling, shred the parsnips using a food processor fitted with a shredding disk. Place in a large mixing bowl. There should be 1 3/4 cups.

Drain the parboiled potatoes in a colander, then return the potatoes to the empty saucepan. Fill with enough cold tap water to cover the potatoes; drain, then fill again with cold tap water. Let them sit for 5 minutes, then drain and dry the potatoes with paper towels. They should be fairly cool to the touch.

Cut the potatoes into large, long pieces that will fit through the feeder tube of the food processor, still fitted with a shredding disk. (The potatoes should not be fully cooked through.) Shred the potato pieces, with the skin; there should be about 4 1/2 cups. Add to the shredded parsnips.

Pour 3 tablespoons of the oil onto a large rimmed baking sheet, then place the sheet in the oven; preheat to 450 degrees. Line a large platter with a few layers of paper towels.

Add the matzoh meal, onion, baking powder, egg and egg white to the potato-parsnip mixture; toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

(At this point, the mixture can be formed into flattened 2 1/2-inch rounds on a large sheet of wax paper or parchment paper. The uncooked latkes can be held at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerated for up to 1 hour. Or they can be formed straight from the bowl as you work.)

Carefully place 8 to 10 portions of latke mixture in the heated oil on the baking sheet. Bake-fry for 6 to 8 minutes, until the edges are browned and crisp. Carefully turn over the latkes and bake-fry for about 5 minutes, until golden brown (or to the desired degree of doneness). Use a slotted spatula to transfer them to the paper towel-lined platter. Repeat to use all the latke mixture; add oil by the tablespoon as needed, and wait until it is hot before making more latkes. Serve hot.

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Adapted by assistant Food section editor Bonnie S. Benwick.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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