Quantcast

A thoroughly modern latke - KOAM TV 7

A thoroughly modern latke

Updated: Dec 13, 2012 03:53 PM EST
© Helen Rosner / Bonnier © Helen Rosner / Bonnier


By Sophie Brickman


Around this time of year, in an age-old tradition that connects Jews through the centuries, the latke makers of the world start doing their hand exercises.

There's a lot of grating, squeezing, and flipping to be done for the Celebration of Light, and only the best cooks will hit the trifecta of latke perfection: crispy, fluffy, not too greasy.

But what if there were no grating? No squeezing? Just a simple recipe, the majority of which could be done not just days but months before, with a guarantee you'll hit perfection every time?

Enter Nathan Myhrvold and his team of culinary wizards, creators of the six-volume, high-science mega-reference Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, and this year's more accessible volume, Modernist Cuisine at Home.

Their latest development, no centrifuge required, is the modern latke. Sounds about as oxymoronic as jumbo shrimp? Perhaps, but by using ingredients you can find at your local grocery store, you too can enjoy the most recent evolutionary leap of the humble potato pancake.

Scott Heimendinger, the director of applied research for the Modernist Cuisine Culinary Lab, used to make latkes with his mother every Hannukah and remembers the process of grating as largely one of "trying to keep the skin on my knuckles."

But even a perfectly grated batch of potatoes doesn't guarantee a crisp end product. As Heimendinger explained to me, "you're battling two forces" with the latke: water and starch.

Grated potatoes exude lots of water, an enemy to crispness, which is why wringing them dry is such an important step in the classic recipe. Then, there's the starch: When potatoes are cooked, their starch gelatinizes. In order to get the crisp exterior of, say, a French fry, many cooks fry twice. The first fry turns the exterior starch into gel, then that dries and crisps during the second dip.

The Modernist Cuisine recipe gets rid of all three of the hurdles of the traditional latke: grating is nixed entirely thanks to a mashed potato filling, which also eliminates the need for draining out extra water.

And for a flawlessly crisp exterior, the latke's exterior is made of a combination of potato starch and instant mashed potato flakes, which have already reached the starch-gel phase. As such, the first fry begets a flawless exterior, no additional trips to the oil necessary.

It may not be traditional, but if you like a crispy, golden-brown exterior and a soft, fluffy interior, this is for you.



See the recipe for Modernist Latkes »  

 

© 2012 SAVEUR
All rights reserved.
  • Recipes from the KOAM Morning NewsAll RecipesMore>>

  • Fresh Spinach Salad Recipe

    Fresh Spinach Salad Recipe

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:17 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:17:40 GMT
    Eileen Nichols with the Webb City Farmer's Market stopped by KOAM Morning News on Thursday to share this recipe for a fresh spinach salad!More >>
    Eileen Nichols with the Webb City Farmer's Market stopped by KOAM Morning News on Thursday to share this recipe for a fresh spinach salad!More >>
  • Healthy Spinach & Spring Onion Dip Recipe

    Healthy Spinach & Spring Onion Dip Recipe

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 3:48 PM EDT2014-04-15 19:48:21 GMT
    Trent Kling with the Pittsburg Farmer's Market shares this recipe for a healthy spinach and spring onion dip!More >>
    Trent Kling with the Pittsburg Farmer's Market shares this recipe for a healthy spinach and spring onion dip!More >>
  • Sweet & Sour Green Cabbage with Bacon Recipe

    Sweet & Sour Green Cabbage with Bacon Recipe

    Tuesday, March 25 2014 5:00 AM EDT2014-03-25 09:00:19 GMT
    Chuckie Hessong with the Naked Fruit Company stopped by KOAM Morning News with this recipe for sweet and sour green cabbage with bacon!More >>
    Chuckie Hessong with the Naked Fruit Company stopped by KOAM Morning News with this recipe for sweet and sour green cabbage with bacon!More >>

EMAIL SIGNUP

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow

KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas
Send tips, ideas and press releases to: tips@koamtv.com
Send newsroom questions or comments to: comments@koamtv.com
Phone: (417) 624-0233 or (620) 231-0400
Web comments or questions: webmaster@koamtv.com
Newsroom Fax: (417) 624-3158

Powered by WorldNow All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KOAM. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.