Latkes are traditionally fried in schmaltz – the Jewish term for rendered chicken fat. This might not be what you would be served in an orthodox Jewish home but, if anybody gets difficult about their authenticity, just call them potato cakes. They are great with smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, or simply with a fried egg. You will find matzo meal in the kosher section of any supermarket.
Either use 2 pans or cook in batches, keeping the first warm in the oven.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk. Whisk in the matzo meal and stir in the diced onion. Season.
Remove any eyes or dirt patches from the potatoes, but don’t peel them. Grate them in a food processor using the finer of the two grating discs. Put into a drying-up cloth and squeeze dry. Stir into the contents of the bowl.
Heat 1 or 2 large non-stick pan(s) over a low heat. When hot, turn up the heat and add half the oil. Spoon the mixture into the pan(s) to make 8 cakes with a diameter of about 5 cm / 2 inches. Turn down the heat and cook slowly for 6–8 minutes, when the underside will be crisp and golden. Add the remaining oil, turn the cakes and cook for 3–4 minutes on the other side.
© 1998 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.