Food & Drink

Why You Should Add a Carrot to Your Latke Frying Oil

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We’ve arrived at peak potato pancake-frying season, and as somebody who has fried a lotta latkes through the years, I’ve realized a factor or two alongside the best way. Though there are numerous strategies and recipes for latkes, there are some easy guidelines that can enable you to obtain Hanukkah bliss. Listed here are a few of my fried-and-true methods of the commerce. 

1. Chill shredded potatoes in ice water for the most effective latke colour.

Latkes have their finest visible enchantment when the interiors stay snowy white, offering a stunning visible distinction to their golden exteriors. Until you’re frying immediately, maintain the shredded potatoes submerged in ice water till you’re able to squeeze out that liquid (see under!) and blend up your latke batter.

2. Squeeze out the liquid for crispy latkes.

Moisture is the enemy of crispiness, and crispiness is what latkes are all about. White potato varieties corresponding to Russet and Idaho — splendid for latke-making resulting from their excessive starch content material — comprise a excessive quantity of liquid, so after grating them (or after taking them out of the ice tub), collect the shreds in a clear kitchen towel, shut securely, and squeeeeeeze out as a lot of that liquid as you possibly can. Relying on what different roots and greens you add to your latkes, it’s possible you’ll need to squeeze these as nicely. Candy potatoes, for example, are a lot drier, however beets are very juicy, so go forward and provides these a squeeze as nicely. (Be taught how potato starch can make your latkes even crispier).

3. Go small with regards to latkes.

Resist the urge to fry up outsized potato pancakes — conserving the latkes smaller provides you extra management over the cooking course of and means that you can monitor the frying extra exactly. Generally, with bigger pancakes, the surface can crisp up earlier than the middle, forcing you to both burn the outside or decrease the flame, which may make the latkes soggy and oily. I like to make use of about 1/4 to 1/3 cup combination per latke, which additionally makes them good for handheld appetizers. 

4. Select the precise skillet.

A heavy skillet — forged iron, carbon metal, or copper-bottomed — is the best way to go right here, however in case you don’t have any of the skillets listed simply go together with the sturdiest one you’ve received.

The heavier the bottom of the skillet, the extra evenly the warmth will probably be distributed, permitting for stress-free oil heating and fewer of an opportunity of the oil burning. Though nonstick skillets work, they’re not obligatory right here; because you’re frying in an ample quantity of oil, nothing ought to follow the floor. 

5. Use a impartial oil with a excessive smoke level.

Though the unique Hanukkah story refers to an historic miracle the place a tiny vial of olive oil lasted eight days within the Jewish holy temple, follow neutral oils corresponding to grapeseed, sunflower, or canola, which have the next smoke level — the purpose at which the oil begins to interrupt down and smoke.  

6. Be taught the carrot trick.

As uncommon as this sounds, this trick I realized in Israel actually, actually works! Add a entire trimmed carrot to the frying oil together with the latkes. Not solely does the carrot assist regulate the oil temperature, however it additionally serves as a magnet, amassing tiny particles and conserving the oil extra pristine and fewer susceptible to burning. You need to use the carrot for a number of batches — as soon as it’s shriveled and a bit caramelized, it’s time to compost it and begin with a brand new one.

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