Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Latkes in July

So I am not the most observant Jew, having gone to Shabbat a handful of times this past year and mostly for the free meals. But even I know that latkes are eaten for Hanukah, a holiday whose whole ideal is things covered in oil. But, as family tradition goes we’ve always been able to pick whatever we want for our birthday dinner and my younger brother always picked latkes for his July birthday. So it isn’t so strange to me to be cooking them on the hottest day Seattle may have ever had.

Having already had to cancel two cooking with friends dates, I was determined to make the third and prove that I could feed myself and others locally. Potatoes are local, onions are local, eggs and flour are local, and thank God oil is my exemption. My friend Brenna and I try to cook once a week to improve ourselves, and it was also Lindsey’s first time eating latkes.

Adapted from my Mother’s distracted advice

5 larger potatoes (local)
1 onion (local)
3 eggs (local)
½ cup flour (local)
2 ½ inches zucchini (local)

Brenna grew up grating everything by hand, but if you have a food processor I’d highly recommend busting it out. Essentially you want to grate the potatoes, onions, and zucchini and put them in a large bowl. Beat the eggs separately before adding them in, and then also in the flour. Mix it all together, pour a significant amount of oil into a skillet and turn it on medium high. When its hot enough that you can drop in a potato scrap and it will sizzle, than you scoop thin patties (think medium pancake size) into the oil until they’re browned on one side. Flip, and cook through, stacking on a pan lined with paper towels. Place paper towels between layers of stacking your latkes, this makes quite a lot. We ate maybe 1/6 the batter between the three of us, and divided up the rest to take home.

All in all, you couldn’t really taste the zucchini (for those non-Jews of you, not a traditional component of this potato pancake), but it made me feel healthier. Sour cream and applesauce is the traditional (and very tasty) condiments, but I abstained from both for the eat local challenge. Which made me sad.

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