Chanukah is here at last! What a day Kipper and I have had. We started off in London to see the stage production of The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming, at JW3. I’m always amazed at how a book that can be read in 5 minutes can be turned into an hour long show, and The Latke… didn’t disappoint. The cast were incredibly talented and acted, sang and played multiple musical instruments to bring the story to life. Kipper & I had front row seats and she was enthralled and delighted.
(Latkes, for those who don’t know, are potato pancakes that are traditionally eaten on Chanukah. The miracle of Chanukah is all about the oil, and so fried foods are big news this week.)
Following the show we had a lovely lunch, and, somewhat inevitably, a latke. Although it was a fairly un-traditional sweet potato latke with cinnamon sugar. Yum. Kipper ate it in the back of a taxi on our way to the station. We got the train home in time to light our first Chanukah candle, and open our first presents. (We try to spread the presents out over all 8 nights.)
Having had a latke themed day so far, it seemed only right to make latkes for dinner, too. It was the first night of Chanukah after all! But I really didn’t fancy standing in front of a hot stove, tending a pan of spitting hot oil, and cooking three at a time for what seems like an hour, while DH and Kipper have all the fun with the presents in the other room.
Oven-fried latkes to the rescue! There had to be a better way to cook them, and there is! I heated up the oil on a tray in the oven, dolloped on the latke mixture, then cooked them all in one go in the oven. No fuss, no mess, no oil-splattered clothes and stinky-chip-shop hair. Hoorah! AND I got to hang around while Kipper opened her first present (this fabulous doll, if you’re interested).
I did one tray with sunflower oil and another with olive oil. DH claimed the olive oil ones were better, although I’m not sure I could tell the difference. Olive oil is certainly more traditional, anyway.
The latke mix here is basically the one from Evelyn Rose, with minor amendments. Also, she says this will serve 4-6. HA! We devoured the lot between the three of us. We had these with the not-very-traditional accompaniments of smoked salmon and sliced avocado. They were delicious 🙂
- Up to 200ml sunflower or olive oil (about a cup)
- 750g potato (26.5 oz)
- 1 small onion
- 2 eggs
- 4 tbsp self-raising flour
- Pinch salt
- Pinch ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200C (400F). Pour oil into 2 rimmed baking sheets to a depth of 1-2mm (you may not need all the oil) and place in the oven to heat up.
- Peel the potatoes. Using the grating disc in the food processor, grate the potatoes finely. Discard any large unrated lumps and transfer the grated potato to a sieve. Press down to remove as much liquid as possible. Leave to drain.
- Meanwhile, replace the grating disc in the food processor with the regular blade. Peel the onion and cut into quarters. Put the onion, eggs, flour, salt and pepper into the food processor bowl and blend for a few seconds until well combined.
- Add the potato to the bowl and pulse a few times until mixed. Scrape down with a spatula and pulse again.
- Remove the baking sheets of hot oil from the oven - be very careful! Dollop tablespoons of potato mixture onto the sheets - they should sizzle. You should make about 16 latkes. Return the baking sheets to the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes until the latkes are starting to brown on top.
- Remove the baking sheets from the oven and turn over the latkes. Return to the oven and cook for another 15 minutes until the latkes are cooked through and golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and transfer the latkes to a plate lined with plenty of absorbent paper. Allow some of the oil to drain off and then eat!