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Latkes, or potato pancakes, are commonly associated with traditional cuisines of Germany, Austria and Eastern Europe. The term “latkes” is Yiddish in origin. Most traditional recipes call for freshly grated potatoes and are mixed with egg and flour to bind them. I experimented with the freshly grated potatoes and found the pancakes to be very gummy, even after rinsing away and squeezing out the excess starch. So, I opted for canned new potatoes, which are already cooked until tender. They seem to work amazingly well for creating a light and crispy pancake. Of course you can always peel and boil a pound of fresh new potatoes just until tender, if you prefer. This recipe is gluten free and yields about 8 to 10 latkes.

Ingredients:
• 1 can (14.5 oz.) new potatoes
• ½ medium-size onion, thinly sliced and then finely chopped (about ⅔ cup)
• ⅓ cup garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour
• 2 T non-dairy milk
• ½ tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt
• ½ tsp coarse ground black pepper
• vegetable oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet
• garnish of your choice, such as applesauce, sour cream, chopped herbs, etc.

Technique:
Preheat oven to 250°F.

Drain the water from the potatoes. Blot them on a paper towel and then coarsely grate them on a standard cheese/vegetable grater. Place the shreds in a large bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients, mix thoroughly and let the mixture sit for 15 minutes. Form the potato mixture into golf size balls and set on a work surface.

Heat the oil in the skillet over medium-high heat until the oil begins to shimmer.

In the palm of your hand, flatten a potato ball with your other hand and shape into a patty. Gently place the patty in the hot oil and repeat with the other potato balls. Don’t crowd the skillet; fry them in 2 batches of 4 at a time until golden brown and crispy, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Handle them carefully – remember, there is no egg to bind them, so they are a bit more delicate.

Remove them with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Lightly salt the patties. Place in the oven to keep warm while you finish frying the remaining patties. Serve with your favorite condiment.

Potato and Onion Latkes
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