I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t adore latkes. Crisp and fragrant, these delightful little potato pancakes are as versatile as they are tasty. My only complaint about latkes is that when I make them, the hot oil smell tends to linger in the house for longer than I’d like. Plus I look at them as a bit of a guilty pleasure, what with them being fried and all. So I got to thinking…is there a way I can make latkes a little bit healthier? Then Anne of the awesome blog If Music Be the Food of Love Play On suggested using a waffle maker. I couldn’t wait to test out her great idea, and it proved to be a winner. I don’t bother peeling the potatoes; a lot of their nutrition is in the skin. Note that you can easily make these ahead and refrigerate or freeze them.
2 large russet potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
toppings: pulled pork, applesauce, sour cream, cheese curds and gravy, etc.
Equipment needed: waffle iron, silicone basting brush
- Grate potatoes using the large holes of a box grater.
- Place grated potatoes in a large bowl and cover with cold water.
- Let sit for 2 – 4 hours (longer is fine, too) to soak out some of the starch.
- When ready to cook, drain the potatoes in a colander.
- Put the potatoes on a clean towel and roll it up. Squeeze to extract as much moisture from the potatoes as possible. The drier you can get them, the crispier the latkes.
- Return the dried potatoes to a clean bowl and add salt and pepper. Mix with your hands to thoroughly combine the seasonings.
- Heat waffle iron. When it is hot, brush both sides of the grill with vegetable oil. This will give the latkes more flavour and also keep them from sticking.
- Scoop up 1/3 cup of potato mixture with a measuring cup and dump the potatoes on the waffle iron. If you have multiple compartments, repeat.
- Close the lid of the waffle iron and press down firmly for a minute or two.
- Wait patiently while they cook and don’t peek for the first 8 minutes or so.
- Cooking time will vary with individual waffle irons; expect about 10 – 14 minutes. Wafflelatkes are cooked when they are golden brown on both sides.
- While first batch is cooking, preheat oven to 225F.
- To crisp them further, put cooked wafflelatkes on a baking tray and put the tray in the oven to keep warm. If you are planning to refrigerate or freeze the wafflelatkes, don’t put them in the oven for final crisping until you are ready to serve them.
- Continue cooking until all the potato mixture has been used.
- Serve latkes with whatever toppings you like.
- Makes approximately 12 wafflelatkes.