I’ve never made a latke before today. I was raised Southern Baptist, a religious tradition that looks askance at anything less New Testament than Bisquick. But when the Smitten Kitchen cookbook came out a few weeks ago, Ms. Perelman did an interview on NPR that my husband happened to hear during drive time. That night, he came home, saw me perusing the cookbook, and said, “That Smitten lady was on the radio today. She was making latkes with an egg on top.” And then he kind of smacked his lips in a “wow, I sure wish someone who loved me would make some of those” sort of way, and who am I to deny my man a homemade potato pancake?
And, I will admit that these latkes are a bit of emotional blackmail, as I am leaving him alone tonight with the Big and Little Kids while some girlfriends and I go see BREAKING DAWN PART 2: THE BREAKENING. I figure, ply him with a hearty breakfast he can really get excited about and I can go indulge my guilty pleasure without feeling additional guilt for abandoning my family.
Fortunately for me, these latkes are quite tasty, although I’m not sure why in the cookbook Perelman makes the yield four latkes when on the blog the same recipe yields 12. Because I had invited our friends the Remdes and Laura over to help us eat them (because the kids wouldn’t touch them, no way no how), I doubled the recipe and got 7 latkes out of it. Next time I make these, I will go smaller because I prefer a crispier pancake and these large ones could have been crispier. I also have to call foul on the instruction to cook the latkes over “moderate heat.” I interpret “moderate heat” as “medium,” but the latkes I cooked at that temp were less crispy and starchier than I would have preferred. But when I replenished the oil and cranked up the heat a notch, they crisped up beautifully.
I served the latkes with fried eggs (that Christian cooked because I am not confident with fried eggs; I can poach and boil and scramble eggs, but fried eggs are not in my wheelhouse), some freshly cut pineapple, and some bacon-and-cheddar biscuits I’d made on Friday night. Literally not kosher, but no one seemed to mind.
“You make good latkes for a goy,” said Laura. Not perfect, but I’ll keep trying. Shalom, y’all.