Latkes – Baked vs. Fried

It’s that time of year – latke time! There is nothing like a fried potato pancake to get into the spirit of the season.

I decided to try baking and frying for a healthy experiment. I was curious to see which the boys would prefer. Would they even notice?

After some research I found there is much debate in the latke world about this subject. The diehard latke fans seem to feel they should never be baked. I wanted to see if there was a huge difference in taste, as it would mean a substantial cut in fat and calories in the baked version. Although for the boys this is not an issue right now – for me it is! And if I bake them and the taste is right, then I get to eat more than one. Bonus!

I took a basic latke recipe and added some grated vegetables. This recipe is fairly easy, although grating the vegetables is slightly challenging with three little boys in superhero capes running under my feet screaming “in the name of the Emperor!”

Zucchini & Carrot Latkes

Ingredients:

1 large Russet potato

1 small yellow onion

1 carrot

1 small zucchini (should be about 1/2 cup shredded)

1 large egg

1-tsp baking powder

1-tsp salt

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

Vegetable oil for frying

IMG_2640

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly oil a baking sheet.

Peel the potato and carrot, and remove the outer skin from the onion. Grate onion, potato, carrot and zucchini onto a kitchen towel or cheesecloth and wring out as much moisture as possible. This step is crucial in the baking version or you will be chiseling the pancakes off your baking sheet.

Transfer potato mixture to a large bowl and stir in the egg. In a separate small bowl, mix together the baking powder, salt and flour, and then stir that into the potato/egg mixture.

Baked:

Drop 2-3 tablespoons of potato mixture onto baking sheet (not too thick). Bake for 15-20 minutes, then turn pancakes and bake an additional 10 minutes or so until crispy.

Fried:

IMG_2641

In a large skillet heat 1/4 inch of oil over medium high heat until hot. Drop 2-3 tablespoons of potato mixture and cook for 3-4 minutes a side until golden and crispy. Drain excess oil on paper towels and serve.

Can you guess which is which? The fried are on the left…

IMG_2643

And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (big bro)

Fried: Super Yummy!

Baked: I like it a little but I don’t like it a little

Liam (little bro)

Fried: I like this latla

Baked: Did Matthew like this latla?

Dylan (little bro)

Fried: I love that big thing! Can we eat this before Hanukkah?

Baked: Yuck

Bottom Line: Latkes should always be fried never baked! What was I thinking anyway??? Live a little, eat fried latkes!

 

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