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Thumbnail image for potato-waffle.jpgChanukah is my favorite Jewish holiday, and not for the reason you may think. For me, it has never been about the gift giving aspect, it has always been about being with my family and eating great food. To be more precise, it is really about potato latkes. For many years I had been searching for the perfect potato latke and it wasn't until a few years ago that I found Mimi Sheraton's jewels. They are the best I have ever tasted— great potato flavor, not soggy with oil, and always crispy, the true qualities of a great latke. Mimi Sheraton is one of New York City's culinary treasures, who wrote a book on Jewish Cooking, From My Mother's Kitchen:Recipes and Reminiscences, Harper Collins 1991. Many years ago, before I found Mimi's latkes, we created a  potato waffle for our menu. I remember how surprised I was when they turned out so golden and crunchy on the outside, and full of potato flavor on the inside. I love to eat them with cold sour cream and Chunky Apple Preserves (recipe can be found in Sarabeth's Bakery, From My Hands to Yours, Rizzoli 2010)


POTATO WAFFLES with Sour Cream and Chunky Apple Preserves

 Makes 4 (6 -inch) waffles
 COOKS NOTE: You will need clarified butter or vegetable oil for greasing the waffle iron.
2 large (1 pound) baking potatoes, such as Idaho or russet, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup milk
1 cup unbleached flour 
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, chilled
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 cup sour cream
1 cup Sarabeth's Chunky Apple Preserves, or applesauce
1.  Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with lightly salted water.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.  Drain well and transfer to a medium bowl.  Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes with the butter, then mix in the milk. (You should have 2 cups of mashed potatoes.) Cool until tepid, but not cold and firm.  
2.  Heat the waffle iron according to the manufacturers’ instructions. 
3.  In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper to combine.  Add the butter and pulse 15 to 20 times until the butter is very finely chopped.  Transfer to a medium bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk the milk and egg to combine. Add the flour mixture to the mashed potatoes, alternating with the milk and egg mixture. Mix gently until smooth.  Fold in the chives.
4.  Grease the grids of the waffle iron lightly with clarified butter.  Using a 2 1/2-inch ice-cream scoop, place 2 level scoops ( or 2/3 cup) of batter in the center of the waffle iron. Close the lid and bake until the waffle is crisp and brown, 4 to 6 minutes.  Transfer to a warmed serving plate.  
5.  Serve immediately, topping each waffle with a dollop of sour cream and Chunky-Apple Preserves .
 Thumbnail image for potato latkeIMG_3255.JPG
 Mimi Sheraton, "From My Mother's Kitchen", (Harper Collins, 1991)
Makes 6 servings

These should be prepared and fried as close to serving time as possible.

7 or 8 medium old potatoes (about 2 ½ pounds)
1 large onion peeled
2 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons potato flour or matzoh meal
1 scant tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
Corn oil, for frying
Applesauce, as accompaniment

1.  Peel the potatoes and cover with cold water until you are ready to make the pancakes. Grate the potatoes and onion into a strainer that is suspended over a bowl to catch the juices. If this is hard for you to manage, grate the potatoes into a bowl, then turn into a strainer suspended over another bowl. Grate the potatoes and onion alternately, as the onion juice will help prevent the potatoes from darkening. Using a wooden spoon, or picking up handfuls of the grated potato mixture, squeeze or press out as much liquid as possible. Reserve all liquid and let it settle in the bowl for 2 or 3 minutes.

2.  Put the pressed potato and onion mixture in a clean bowl. Carefully pour off the watery part of the reserved liquid but do not discard the thick, starchy paste at the bottom of the bowl. Scrape that into the potato mixture. Add the egg yolks, potato flour or matzoh meal, salt, and pepper and mix thoroughly. Beat the egg whites to stiff and shiny peaks and fold them into the potato mixture.

3.  Heat a ½-inch-depth of oil in a heavy skillet, preferably of black cast iron. Drop the potato mixture into the hot oil, about 2 tablespoons per pancake, and fry, turning once so the pancakes are a deep golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Total frying time for each batch of pancakes should be about 10 minutes. Keep fried pancakes warm while the rest are being fried. To do that, put the fried, drained pancakes on a rack in an open baking pan and place in a low oven (about 250 degrees). Do not hold for more than 15 minutes before serving or they will become soggy. Serve with applesauce.

Tags: Chunky Apple Preserves , From My Mother's Kitchen , Latkes , Mimi Sheraton , Potato Waffle , Sarabeth's Bakery

Categories: Chanukah


Your Comments

barbara  | November 27, 2010 2:52 PM

The waffles look great. After reading all of your recipes I am starving. I guess that I will just have to go and eat one of the wonderful pumpkin muffins that I made from your cookbook. They came out great!!

Your Comments

dorie  | November 27, 2010 5:21 PM

I love the idea of putting apple preserves on the waffles. Great picture -- you can see how crispy the waffle is on the outside and guess at how good it will be on the inside.

Your Comments

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Pam  | November 28, 2010 3:46 PM

I made these this morning and they are as advertised: delicately crispy on the outside and pillowy/potato-y on the inside. A couple of notes: If you don't have a potato masher, you can easily press the cooked potato through a medium-coarse sieve with the back of a wooden spoon which will give you perfectly fluffy, even-grained puree ready to absorb the milk and butter. Next time I am going to stir some well-caramelized onions into the batter. I had them in the fridge but it didn't occur to me until I was spooning the batter onto the iron for the last waffle. I think that will be great!

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Linda  | November 28, 2010 7:23 PM

I never met a latke I did not like! I make mine just about the same as Mimi's but I do not separate the eggs....I will try that this year. I stand at the stove and keep frying , the way my Mom did before is the only way, I just can not keep them warm in the oven. Even if I have three or four pans going at a time.
I must try the weekend for sure.
Have a Happy Chanukah!

Your Comments

Jen O'Connor  | November 29, 2010 10:33 AM

...these sound utterly do all your recipes. Thanks for inspiring my next brunch menu.

Your Comments

Mimi Sheraton  | December 1, 2010 12:08 PM

Many thanks, Sarabeth for the kind words. The waffles sound great too. But God forbid anyone put caramelized onions in my latkes..much too sweet...they may be latkes but they are not Mimi Sheraton's nor her mother's or grandmother's.

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Linda  | December 4, 2010 11:06 AM

I made Mimi's Latkes last night and they are everything promised....absolutely perfect!
The waffles are next!

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