Tiny Kitchen Recipes: Latkes from The Mile End Cookbook

Learn how to make the potato pancake two ways—with applesauce, natch—in the style of the popular Jewish deli just in time for Hanukkah

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  • Photograph: Quentin Bacon

    Latkes from The Mile End Cookbook

  • The Mile End Cookbook by Noah and Rae Bernamoff

Photograph: Quentin Bacon

Latkes from The Mile End Cookbook


Welcome to Tiny Kitchen Recipes, a feature in which we ask chefs, writers, and food bloggers in New York City and beyond to share a recipe with us. Always wallet-friendly, these creations are feasible whether you live to cook or recently stopped using your oven for shoe storage. 

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This year, both Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah fall on November 28, and we can think of no better way to celebrate the uncommon event than by serving latkes on your holiday table next week. This recipe is from The Mile End Cookbook by Noah and Rae Bernamoff, the team behind Montreal-inflected deli Mile End in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, as well as its Manhattan sister restaurant. If you seek a traditional take, see the first recipe for instructions on how to make the time-honored potato rendition; for a version that complements the holiday fusion, scroll down for a butternut-squash variation on the Jewish classic. At the bottom of this page you'll find a recipe for applesauce with which to top the tasty fried pancakes. Happy Thanksgivukkah!

Potato Latkes

Ingredients:

- 2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated
- 1 medium onion, grated
- 1 1/4 cup matzo meal
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh chives
- 5 large eggs
- 1 tbsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Canola oil 

Place the grated potatoes in a large bowl or other food-safe container, fill it with water and then strain. Repeat this rinsing process 2 or 3 times until the water runs clear, then drain the potatoes, squeezing out as much water as possible. 

Combine the rinsed potatoes and grated onion in a large bowl, and mix them together with your hands. Add the matzo meal and mix together, then add the chives. Finally, add the eggs and massage them into the potato mixture until thoroughly incorporated. Add the salt and pepper, and mix it in with your hands. 

Heat 2 to 3 tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches so that the latkes are not crowded in the skillet, take a golf-ball–size portion of the potato mixture, flatten it between the palms of your hands, and add it to the skillet. Repeat. 

Cook the latkes until they’re crisp and brown around the edges, about 3 minutes; then flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until crisp and deep golden brown all over and still tender inside. Transfer to a paper-towel–lined plate or baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture, adding a tbsp or so of oil between batches.

Butternut Squash Latkes

Ingredients:

- 1 3- to 4-lb butternut squash, peeled, seeds and pith removed
- 1 medium onion, grated
- 1 cup matzo meal
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh sage
- 5 large eggs
- 1 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Canola oil 

Cut the squash into chunks and pass them through the grating disk of a food processor. Then follow the instructions for the potato version, substituting the squash for the potatoes (and skipping the rinsing step at the beginning) and substituting the sage for the chives, and cooking the latkes slightly longer over slightly lower heat (about 4 minutes on the first side and 3 minutes on the second side over medium-low heat). 

You can reheat the latkes in a 450°F oven in 3 to 4 minutes. Makes 25 to 30 small latkes.

Applesauce

Ingredients:

- 6 lbs apples (such as Braeburn, Fuji or Cortland) washed, cored and quartered (about 12 apples)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
- 1 cup water 

Place all the ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the apples are soft, about 1 hour. Let the apple mixture cool somewhat, then pass it through a food mill. Return the milled apples to the pot and simmer over medium-low heat until the applesauce reaches the desired consistency, and add more lemon juice to taste. 

Makes about 6 to 8 cups.

Reprinted from the book The Mile End Cookbook. Copyright © 2012 by Mile End Delicatessen. Photographs copyright © 2012 by Quentin Bacon. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, LCC, and Melcher Media.


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