4 cups grated Russet potatoes (about 4 medium potatoes)
1 cup sauerkraut, well drained
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup potato starch
freshly ground black pepper
In a large cast iron skillet or another heavy bottomed pan, heat about 1/4 inch oil.
Place the potato and sauerkraut into a metal sieve or colander over a large bowl. Press out any liquid. Pour out the liquid from the bowl and place the drained potatoes and sauerkraut in the bowl on top of the remaining (should be dry-ish) starch. Stir in pepper, egg, and the potato starch. Form into flat patties. If they will not hold their shape, stir in additional potato starch until they do. Fry in hot oil, flipping halfway through, until just golden, about 8 minutes.
Drain on paper towel lined plates. Serve hot, with sour cream. Garnish with chopped flat-leaf parsley for some color.
Yield: about 10 latkes, depending on size.
I’ve had the idea for sauerkraut-spiked latkes for some years now. I know this because I have a blank draft entitled “Sauerkraut Latkes” dated 2009. Finally, I have actually made them! An aside: we celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah but somehow it is the non-Jewish person (me) who makes the latkes every year and it was the Jewish person (my husband) who wanted a Christmas tree (which we finally bought and now have up with only food ornaments).
Anyway, we both love sauerkraut so I am sure that is why I had the idea and then ignored it all these years. As my husband says, there is nothing that epitomizes Jewish food better than combining fatty, starchy and pickled foods and these latkes hit all three. They are super yummy, of course, and you have to eat fried foods for Hanukkah so why not go crazy! We ate an embarrassing amount of these at in one sitting. They got super crispy (maybe thanks to using just potato starch? I normally make latke using either just matzo meal or a combo) yet very tender inside. You want them golden brown inside, too light and the insides might not be cooked enough. The sauerkraut added a nice tang but wasn’t overpowering. I’d totally make these again. And maybe top them with some lox to be fancy.
- Russet (i.e. baking) potatoes only, you need a starchy, “dry” potato.
- Potato starch can be found anywhere you can buy “Jewish” or kosher groceries. Japanese, Korean or Filipino grocery stores should have it too. Use the leftovers to make karaage.
- You can use homemade or jarred sauerkraut (we haven’t made sauerkraut yet this year so I used Wildbrine Sauerkraut I bought at Costco which is pretty close to my homemade version)