Here is my mother’s recipe, in her exact words:
1/8 tsp salt
2 c. potato cubes (peel potatoes)
1. Put 1 egg in blender container.
2. Peel onion – cut into eighths.
3. Put onion pieces into blender.
4. *Blend until onion is fairly smooth & the mixture is a mush.
5. Add salt & 2 cups diced potatoes.
6. *Blend until potatoes are just smooth.
7. Pour into bowl – Add matzah meal
- I use the food processor, not the blender. Pulse after potatoes are in and don’t overblend or the starch develops and turns to a gloppy mess. A few small chunks of potato are fine.
- When peeling the potatoes, keep in bowl of cold water so they don’t brown. This also helps remove the excess potato starch.
- Use all-purpose white or yellow potatoes (PEI or Yukon Gold are my favourite). Not mealy Russet or Idaho baking potatoes. Each one should yield about 1 cup of cubed potatoes.
- I use more salt, about 1/4-1/2 tsp.
- For best results, fry in schmaltz. But regular oil works too. You don’t need a lot. In fact, a light spritz of cooking spray is plenty in a non-stick pan. But 1/8″ oil in the bottom of a 12″ cast iron skillet yields the crispiest crust.
- Allow the mixture to rest for a few minutes before frying. Don’t add too much matzah meal at first, it will be absorbed. Adjust if necessary.
- If the pan is too hot they will burn before cooking through. If too cool they will not get crispy and will soak up oil, becoming soggy.
- Serve immediately with applesauce and sour cream.
- Recipe can easily be doubled or quadrupled for large batches. But I find its easier to just work in small batches, to ensure even blending of everything.
- Leftovers can be frozen, defrost and reheat in microwave on paper towels. Crisp up in pan if desired. But for parties, it’s better to peel and cut the potatoes in advance and leave in a bowl of salted water in the fridge until ready to make latkes.