Generations of Jewish mothers have taught us that when making latkes, you must wring out as much liquid as possible after grating the potatoes in order to make great latkes. So after mixing the grated potatoes, onion, egg and matzah meal, we get to squeezing. Then we squeeze some more. And then right before frying, we squeeze one last time for good measure.
But what if I told you all those generations of moms and bubbes were wrong? Sit down before you hurt yourself and just listen. What I learned from Michelin-Star Chef Bill Telepan several years ago changed my latke making forever: he told me to leave some of the starchy potato liquid in my potato latke mixture for crispy, creamy latkes every time.
I was skeptical, but I’ve never been awarded a Michelin star, so I went home to test out his method and recipe, which also included a high ratio of onion to potato.
Here’s how to make Grate your potatoes, then let them sit for a few minutes; wring out the liquid, but look at the bottom of the bowl and you will see some starchy liquid at the bottom. Add that into your latke mix and you will be amazed how creamy and moist your latkes turn out.
So yes, you should still squeeze out some of the liquid, but don’t kill yourself wringing it all out. Still skeptical? Give it a try and let us know what you think.
Pronounced: KHAH-nuh-kah, also ha-new-KAH, an eight-day festival commemorating the Maccabees’ victory over the Greeks and subsequent rededication of the temple. Falls in the Hebrew month of Kislev, which usually corresponds with December.