Mrs. Weinstein’s Traditional Potato Latkes


Best Latke

In the early 90’s, I was fortunate enough to live in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh.  There I encountered many wonderful Jewish families and their incredible, authentic beliefs and recipes.

One precious experience that still resonates with me today was given to me by a kind, yet strong elderly woman named Mrs. Weinstein. She claimed that traditional Jewish proverb states latkes are not mere culinary delights, but teach us that we cannot live by miracles alone. In other words, miracles are phenomenal things, but we cannot wait for miracles to happen. We have to work towards our goals, feed our bodies and nourish our souls in order to live fulfilling lives.

Nearly every Jewish family has their favorite latke recipe that is passed from generation to generation. However, the underlying formula is the same in that nearly all latke recipes have some combination of grated potatoes, onion, egg and flour, matzah or breadcrumbs. After mixing the batter small portions are fried in vegetable oil. The resultant latkes are served hot, often with applesauce or sour cream.

Some Jewish families add sugar or sesame seeds to the batter to sweeten them up a bit. Here is the best recipe that I have found to date. Golden, crisp, light and delicious. This recipe and its technique was handed down to me, if you will, by a wonderful woman that filled my heart and mind with love of Jewish culture and their simple, but delicious recipes.  Ttikzi lemitzvot, Mrs. Weinstein.

theveggiemama

Ingredients:

2 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and coarsely shredded on a box grater

1 medium onion, coarsely shredded on a box grater

2 large eggs, beaten

1/2 cup finely chopped scallions

1/4 cup fresh chopped parsely

1/4 cup matzo meal or bread crumbs (matzo provides the crispiest results)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of fresh ground nutmeg

Vegetable oil, for frying

motherwouldknow

Directions:

In a colander set over a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the onion and squeeze dry. Let the potatoes and onion drain for 2 to 3 minutes, and then pour off the liquid in the bowl, leaving the starchy paste at the bottom. Add the potatoes and onion, along with the eggs, scallions, parsley, matzo meal, butter,nutmeg, salt, pepper and baking powder; mix well. In a large skillet, heat an 1/8-inch layer of oil until shimmering. Spoon 1/4-cup mounds of the latke batter into the 
skillet about 2 inches apart and flatten slightly with a spatula. Fry the latkes over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the latkes to paper towels to drain, then transfer to a platter. Repeat to make the remaining latkes, adding more oil to the skillet 
as needed. Serve with applesauce, sour cream, smoked salmon and salmon roe.

Best2

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33 Comments Add yours

  1. Sweet story-an equivalent to American’s potato cake! Yummy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cheryl! Right! And just off hand the Irish Boxty too! So many cultures love our beloved potatoes 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Taters are a fav here too!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. These look so good yumm!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a bunch, Lynn! Something so comforting about fried potatoes in any form ♥

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Osyth says:

    What a lovely story 🙂 I love latkes but my husband has never eaten them and I have never made them – just hoovered them up at various Jewish friends houses. This is all the prompt I need to gather the ingredients and give it a whirl.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww! Thanks, Osyth! Please let me know if you give them a go…you won’t be disappointed! Also, the matzo makes the meal…pun intended lol!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Osyth says:

        Matzo makes the meal – love it and yes, of course I’ll let you know 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. koolaidmoms says:

    What a great story! I love recipes with a history. These look delicious too. I love a good Latke.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Marci! I do too, on all accounts 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the story with the recipe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I believe a good story behind a recipe makes the food taste better somehow 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You’re right, there so many variations, and I have to admit I still didn’t find one I didn’t like, this one included. 🙂
    Spreading the love through food is indeed a Mitzvah. Thanks for sharing both recipe and wonderful story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Spreading the love through good food” is such a blessing!! I was told many years ago that homemade food was filled with the love & energy of the cook. So I always try to be in a good mood and infuse a little love while cooking 🙂 Thanks so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Antonia says:

    What a sweet story! The latkes look delicious. I have some potatoes that need to be used up…I need to try this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Antonia! What a perfect way to use up spuds!! Enjoy & please let me know how you like them!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Antonia says:

        I made these this past weekend. They were really delicious Lana. I actually had them for breakfast with a cup of coffee 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh Antonia! I’m so glad you made them and enjoyed them!! Thanks so much for letting me know!!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Enjoyed reading this post , Lana!this is a wonderful recipe 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Freda! The matzo makes such a big difference in the recipe. I love latkes so much and when I 1st tried to make them in my teens I used nothing else but shredded potatoes lol! The end result was mushy hash browns 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hehe.. I’ve never made latkes, just seen them on cooking shows.. It sure is interesting though 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I love latkes! I used to get them late at night at a place called Kat’z Deli in Austin when I was in college. Kat’s had the slogan “Kat’z Never Closes” but sadly it shut its doors for real in 2010. Your recipe looks easy and delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww! How many years was the deli in business, Kathryn? I imagine their food was amazing! A good Jewish deli is a commodity! You were very lucky!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 31 years! It was an icon in Austin, especially for the late-night party crowd to get something to eat after the bars closed.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow! I imagine a lot of people were sad to see it close…

        Liked by 1 person

  10. What a beautiful story. Mrs Weinstein certainly was a wise woman ! I would love to try your recipe, it really sounds delightful with all the special flavours. The recipe I have really does not do Latkes justice, as I find it incredibly bland. Thanks for sharing Lana.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most of my beginning latke recipes were just that, Lynne, BLAND! Mrs. Weinstein’s offers delicious flavors and love too 🙂 She always offered tremendous sound advice as well. Thanks so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Sounds delicious… ill be trying it.. gorgeous story, brought back memories of a very dear older neighbour who became like a mother to me and was an excellent cook. I learnt so much from her too, her name was Evelyn.. thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Food is the source of such amazing memories 🙂 A big wooden spoon up to Evelyn & Mrs. Weinstein 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. My mouth is watering just looking at that photo – making these for sure. What a terrific recipe!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! This recipe will always be near & dear to my heart 🙂

      Like

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