Thursday, December 2, 2010

I am about to make your Chanukah about 18 times more pleasant.

Did that title get ya?

IMG_6012I think I've mentioned before how much I hate standing over a stove.  For real.  I mean, I can't even stand to boil pasta.  So you can imagine how much I hate, hate HATE dealing with the stinky mess of latkes at Chanukah time. 
Even you, O Cheeriest of Jewish Home Managers - don't you try to tell me you haven't been there:  You grate up the potatoes, rushing to get them all done before they start getting brown, weep over grating onions, fret over getting ALL the liquid squeezed out lest the stray droplet leap out of the frying pan to scar your arm, heat up the oil to the perfect temperature so that your latkes will be crispy on the outside and perfectly done on the inside (as opposed to burned on the outside and raw on the inside,) and, just as you've been burned by one too many droplets of steaming, leaping oil, and you're observing that the size of your latke pile doesn't nearly reflect the extent of your labors, it happens. 
The smoke detector goes off. 
Your children are screaming and crying (even though they know it's not, in fact, an air raid siren, just a smoke detector,) you are about half an inch too short to reach the smoke detector, even standing on a chair, so you're frantically trying to fan the smoke away from it while keeping an eye on the latkes still cooking, and....oy.  Before you know it you have smelly house, hair and clothes, traumatized children, a wasted hour, and 8 burned latkes.

Wow, sneak attack!  Your Chanukah is suddenly miserable.  Right?  Wrong.

I stumbled across this recipe for oven-fried latkes and I thought, "Hey, if these flop, all I've lost is a couple of potatoes."

They.  Were. Incredible. 
I made 16 on Wednesday night and my boys were polishing off the last two for breakfast on Thursday morning.

Here's what you'll need:
4 large potatoes, 5-6 medium ones, or 7-8 small ones.
1  medium onion.
3 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 c (or so) oil.
salt and pepper to taste
(You don't need the Manischewitz I included in the picture, but I figured a little on the rocks couldn't hurt.)

Dump the flour and baking powder in the bottom of your bowl.  Season it with whatever salt and pepper you want (you can always add more later.)

Now put a good layer of oil on some baking sheets lined with foil and parchment.  Slide them into the oven at 425 to let that oil get nice and sizzly, and waiting for your latkes.

Crack the eggs on top of the flour and baking soda.  Grate in your onions.

Then your potatoes. (All recipes call for squeezing the liquid out of these.  I had a toddler screaming upstairs like a KGB agent had infiltrated his bedroom, so I totally forgot this step.  They turned out fine, but if you want to squeeze, knock yourself out.)  Mix it all up really well.

Drop spoonfuls of the batter on a cookie sheet and smoosh them down a little bit.  I got 8 per cookie sheet.

After about 12 minutes, when you see the edges start to brown, flip them over.

After another 8-10 minutes, pull them out and drain them on some paper towels.

As for cleanup?  Just ball up the foil and throw it out.  Chuck those cookie sheets in the dishwasher.  You're done! 

Now, just TRY to stop those latkes from being eaten. 

Sit back and relax, you are a hero!  Just like Judah Maccabee.

Happy Chanukah!


  1. Love Love Love your true to life descriptions! When I set the smoke alarm off Charlie first hit the deck then tried to escape from the house. Amelia was mostly nonplussed having spent the first year of her life listening to a the sirensounds of a crying toddler brother.

    (FYI tigerlily is Lily's full first name- the first flowere Dave gave me)

  2. yum!! never made any latkes, just potato cakes with leftover mashed potatoes. will definitely try these, thanks, F.I.!

  3. These were awesome, thanks. I've been trying for years to make good latkes that didn't have to be made on the stove. I guess the trick is to "oven-fry" them rather than trying to bake them. Now if you could just find a way to grate onions without burning eyes I'd do a happy dance.

  4. Mom of 3, my plan for not crying over onions is to train Asher to do it ASAP ;)

  5. Thank you for this! I just made tons of latkes and they all came out beautifully... I don't even have children, but I did have a GUEST who I actually wanted to be able to interact with, and it was a joy to be able to just pull a dozen yummy latkes out of the oven.

  6. Oh YUM!
    I'm not even Jewish, but who could resist a good low maintenance latke?
    I have to try this recipe.


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