Crispy on the outside, soft in the middle, these Ashkenazi potato pancakes are yet another delicious addition to New York’s glorious tradition of fried potato.
Peel and grate half the potatoes (500 g/1 lb 2 oz), mix in the salt, cover with cold water and set aside while you prepare the boiled potatoes. Peel the other half of the potatoes and cut them into small pieces. Place them in a saucepan of cold water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Drain them, allow to cool and mash them with a fork or potato masher.
Heat the oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat. Squeeze as much water as possible out of the grated potatoes and add them to the mashed potatoes along with the onion and eggs. Add the matzo meal or potato starch to thicken the mixture so that the patties aren’t overly wet when you put them in the oil. Test the oil with a little potato mixture — it should be just hot enough to sizzle, but not so hot that it burns straight away. Shape the mixture into 12 patties between the palms of your hands and place half of them in the oil. After a minute of frying, flatten the patties a little with the back of a spatula. After about 5 minutes, turn them over and continue cooking on the other side for another 5 minutes or so. If the underside of the latkes is cooking too slowly or too quickly, adjust the heat accordingly. Season with salt and pepper and repeat with the remaining patties.
Drain the latkes on paper towels. If you’re not serving them immediately, or if you’re cooking them in batches, keep the latkes warm in a
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