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Latkes

These delicious potato pancakes are traditional on Chanukah, the Festival of Lights. In many Sephardic communities and also in Italy, oil lamps are still used for the merman, but in the Ashkenazic communities and in Israel, the oil has been replaced by candles. Oil is still an important part of the festival, however, as the cooking medium for the various Chanukah foods.

ingredients

serves 8
2 pounds large potatoes
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and black pepper
8 tablespoons oil

method

1. Line a large bowl with cheesecloth, letting it fall over the outside edges.

2. Grate the potatoes on a coarse grater into the bowl (or use the grating attachment on a food processor and transfer the potatoes to the bowl).

3. Quickly sprinkle grated potatoes with lemon juice to prevent darkening. Cover the bowl and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes.

4. Gather up the ends of the cheesecloth and squeeze out the moisture. Hold the cheesecloth briefly under running water and squeeze again thoroughly to remove excess moisture.

5. Transfer the grated potatoes to a clean bowl. Stir in the flour, beaten egg, and salt and pepper.

6. Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. Drop 2 tablespoons of the mixture into the hot oil and cook until browned, turning halfway through the cooking, about 4 minutes on each side.

7. Fry latkes in batches. Drain them on absorbent paper, then keep warm. Serve hot with pastrami, or as a dessert for a dairy entree, with sour cream and applesauce

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