“In America it doesn’t matter where you came from, it matters where you are going.” Condoleeza Rice, former U.S. secretary of state
If Americans can agree on anything, it is food. We like all of it.
This is why one can go to a diner and order hummus tacos with no sense of irony. Or, why latkes, that delicious staple of European Jewish cookery, can turn up in a Christian household’s simple Lenten meal.
Truthfully, fried potato cakes show up pretty much anywhere in the world there are potatoes. With good reason. We all know they are tasty. Top them with grainy mustard. Serve them alongside homemade apple sauce. The possibilities are endless.
Here is a particularly simple way to make them.
Speedy Lenten Latkes
While many latke recipes call for grated potatoes, I like to start with a base of peel-on mashed potatoes. There’s more fiber, a hint of color and no food processor or grater to clean.
Cut about 2 pounds red-skinned potatoes into chunks (removing any bad spots) and place in a large sauce pan. Cover with water, bring to boil and simmer until potatoes are soft.
Drain water. Mash potatoes with 1/2 cup mayonnaise (vegan or non vegan), 2 eggs (substitute with a bit more mayo if you are vegan), 1 yellow onion (finely diced), 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and 1 cup of bread crumbs (use crushed rice-square cereal if you’re gluten free).
Form into latke patties about the size of a deck of cards as you go. For the best browning results, pre-heat a cast-iron skillet, add about 1/4 inch oil (coconut if you’re ketoing; canola is also fine). Fry the patties on medium-low heat for about 4 minutes or until their bottoms are golden brown. Flip and fry the other side.
Line a holding plate with paper towels to absorb oil. Add more paper towels between layers of latkes. Add more oil to your cooking pan as needed.
Eat while piping hot, but save any leftovers in the freezer to thicken a future batch of soup.