With Chanukah in full swing you've probably had your fill of gelt, the chocolate coins given to children on the holiday. Your fingers and wrists are swollen and sore from all that dreidel spinning, but thankfully it earned you a bank account full of shekels.
The fried potato pancakes, called latkes, are as much a symbol as the holiday as lighting the menorah each night. They're consumed en masse during the eight-day celebration. If you haven't yet consumed one all hope isn't lost. We spoke with Ronnie Dragoon, owner of Ben's New York Kosher Delicatessen in Boca Raton, who has the answer. Buy them from him by the dozen, or make your own using his recipe.
The Boca Raton Ben's is only one of seven locations. The other half dozen are scattered around New York City, from Manhattan to Queens County. Dragoon said those made it through the storm and though they sustained some damage have re-opened for business.
"We survived," he said, "no one lost life or limb but it was rough up there."
Dragoon estimated the Boca operation will sell 10,000 latkes during the holiday. It's also offering a variety of special flavors, such as carrot, spinach and broccoli, for the week.
Ben's Potato Latkes
Makes about 10 pancakes, depending on size
3 pound of white all purpose potatoes, peeled
½ pound of yellow onion
3 large eggs
1 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon of ground white pepper
1 cup flour
Oil for frying
Shred the potatoes and place in cold water. Shred the onion. Place shredded potato and onion into a colander and drain well, pressing hard to release all the liquid. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Add the strained potato and onion to the egg mixture and stir to combine. Then add the flour and stir.
Fill and heat a large skillet with an inch of oil. Using an ice cream scoop, depending on how big you want the latkes to be, flatten the mixture to three quarters of an inch thick. Cook, turning halfway through until the pancakes are golden brown on both sides and cooked in the center. Remove and drain on paper towel to remove excess oil and serve with applesauce.
Ben's is a kosher deli, and doesn't serve the latkes with sour cream, but we won't tell anyone if you do.
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