Sunday, October 20, 2013

New Potato Latkes with Smoked Salmon and Crème fraîche

During the great CSA experiment this summer it seemed like every box I got had Rose Gold potatoes in it. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining really, I like potatoes, but I usually try to eat them sporadically, because well, they tend to be hard on my hips. But I was getting them a lot so I tried to use them in a variety of ways. This was a particularly yummy way I put my new potatoes to use. Not very creative mind you, buy my tummy sure didn't care, nor did the people I fed them to.

Having made potato latkes before using russet potatoes I knew that the key to crispy pancakes is to make sure the grated potatoes are really dry. It turns out the same is even more true for new potatoes, which tend to have a higher water content. I usually grate the potatoes directly into a bowl of water so that they don't start to turn brown before I’ve finished grating the whole batch and it also removes some of the starch, but that process can leave them watery so I pour out the grated potatoes into a strainer, and then from the strainer into a dish towel that I then twist closed and twist down hard until no more water drips out.  Then they go into the batter right quick.

I liked using the new potatoes for latkes because I left the skins on and that added a really pleasant rustic character to the little pancakes that I particularly liked.  I like to leave the skins in my mashed potatoes too which my family is still not sure of, so do as you like.

New Potato Latkes with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche

12 appetizer servings

  • 2 pounds new potatoes, grated, drained and dried thoroughly
  • 1 pound grated onion, drained and dried thoroughly
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for pan frying
  • Smoked salmon
  • Crème fraîche
  1. Mix together the eggs, flour, salt and pepper until you have a smooth batter, add the grated potatoes and onions and mix together well.
  2. In a large skillet heat about ½-inch of the vegetable oil over medium high heat until just starting to shimmer.  To test the heat of the oil drop a little bit of the potato mixture into the oil.  It should sputter a little, but not aggressively so.  You don’t want the oil so hot that the pancakes burn before the potatoes are cooked.  Using a quarter cup measure spoon some of the potato mixture into the skillet and press down slightly to form pancakes.  Repeat until the skillet is full but not crowded.  Cook the pancakes on one side until crisp and golden brown, about 3 minutes, then carefully turn over.  Cook an additional 3 minutes or until crisp and brown.  Season with a little more salt if needed and transfer to a paper towel lined baking sheet and place in a warm oven.  Continue with the rest of the potato mixture until gone, adding more oil if needed.  Serve each pancake with a slice of smoked salmon and a dollop of Crème fraîche.

Note:  I keep a slotted spoon handy to fish out any bits between batches so that the oil doesn't get flavored with the taste of burned potato or onion.


June said...

I agree getting all the moisture out of the potatoes can be a challenge. I use my ricer for the task and press the moisture out that way. These look great!

Lorraine said...

Using the ricer is a great idea! They were great. I reheated the pancakes in the oven so that they were nice and crisp for breakfast the next day.