Monday, January 26, 2009

Latkes!

This is mostly a post to show off my fancy new graters.

I read somewhere about these "slaw cutters" from the Bluffton Slaw Cutter Company. The fact that an old school kitchen supply company can succeed manufacturing little more than stamped sheets of metal in the US in the 21st century should give you a hint about the quality of their product. The 3 piece set of slaw cutters with a handguard (trust me, you need one) is about $21 shipped.

These are basically big heavy plates of steel with the "knives" (not holes, knives) punched in such a way that they self-sharpen with use. Amongst other things (the one with big slots has 90% of the functionality of a mandolin, at 1/10th the price) they are fantastic for producing the original potato pancake with a really unique, delicious texture, with individual al dente strands of potato rather than a pulverized mush from a food processor.

Latkes:
Peel and grate some pototoes. Salt liberally and leave in a collander in the sink to let the excess moisture drain off. After 5 minutes or so squeeze them down to get them as dry as possible. Heat oil until almost smoking in a pan, and place a couple mounds of shredded spud in the pan, careful not to crowd the heat. Reduce heat to medium-high. Gently move latkes around until the bottom browns properly to prevent sticking. Smush them flat and flip them once the bottom is golden brown and crisp. Total cooking time should be about 3 minutes a side. Serve with practically anything (but fried apples are extra good)

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