Murray's Latkes Three Ways
For most of us, latkes are a once-a-year treat. That's why we didn't hold back in this recipe, featuring not only a classic version (crisp, potato-ey perfection), but also two cheesy takes on the Hanukkah staple. One's all about flavor, with Parmigiano Reggiano bumping up the umami factor. The other is a textural dream, with a layer of gooey mozzarella hiding beneath the crunchy exterior. Plus, three sauces! We're swapping apple sauce for apple butter, amping up sour cream with caramelized onion jam, and throwing vodka sauce in the mix to pair with those Italian cheeses.
preparation & ingredients
Add the grated potatoes to a bowl with cold water, making sure they're fully submerged. Combine the onions, eggs, flour, baking powder, salt, and spices in a bowl, and set aside. Drain the potatoes in a fine mesh strainer and continue to wash and strain until the water begins to run clear. Drain the potatoes fully, then squeeze the potatoes with your hands or in a dish towel, or use a salad spinner, to ensure as much liquid as possible is removed. Add the potatoes to the egg mixture, and mix until combined.
Separate the potato mixture evenly into three bowls. Set aside two of the bowls—the remaining bowl is your classic latke mixture. In a large skillet over medium heat, add enough canola oil to fill the bottom of the pan. When your oil is shimmering, add spoonfuls of the classic latke mixture, spacing them out so they brown evenly. You may need to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Fry on the first side until golden brown, then flip and cook to golden brown on the second side. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Latkes can be kept warm in a low oven.
To one of the two remaining bowls of potato mixture, add the parmesan, and mix until combined. Fry the parmesan latkes in batches following the steps above, adding oil if needed.
Take your last bowl. Form a thin layer of the potato mixture in your palm, then add a thin slice of mozzarella on top, followed by another thin layer of the potato mixture. Fry the mozzarella-stuffed latkes in batches following the steps above, adding oil if needed.
Combine the sour cream and French onion confit in a serving bowl. Add the vodka sauce to a microwave safe bowl, and heat until warm. Transfer the apple butter to a serving bowl (it can be served warm or cold). Arrange the latkes on a platter with the sauces.