Latkes with Mixed Root Vegetables

Sam’s Dad has always been the latke maker in the family – a job he performs with gusto! Last year Sam and I were thrilled to help his dad cook up latkes for the family. We learned a couple of things. First, he suggested that we add grated turnips and carrots to the potatoes. Second, he showed us a trick for getting really good texture.

This is for 1 pound of potatoes–double, triple or quadruple depending on how many latkes you wish to make!

LATKES WITH ROOT VEGETABLES

1 pound potatoes, scrubbed
1 medium onion
1-2 smallish root vegetables such as: beets, turnips, carrots or watermelon radish
2 tablespoons flax seed meal
1/2-1 teaspoon salt
fresh black pepper

1 cup vegetable oil for frying

1. Grate the potatoes and onions. Place a mesh strainer over a large bowl. Grate the potatoes, roots and onions into the strainer. Add salt and let stand a few minutes to allow the liquid to express from the potatoes.

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2. Squeeze the liquid through the strainer. The drier you can get the mixture, the better. Let stand a minute or two.

3. Take the bowl from beneath the strainer, and carefully pour the liquid out. But – and this is the trick – be sure to reserve the potato starch that is left on the bottom.

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4. Add the grated potato mixture to the bowl with the potato starch, along with the flax seed meal, more salt and pepper.

5. Mix well.

6. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

7. Once oil is hot but not smoking, scoop out a scant 1/4 cup at a time, shape quickly, and add to the hot oil.

8. Fry each side about 5 minutes, or until deeply golden.

9. Transfer to paper bowl lined plate. Serve hot. (Keep in hot one if not serving immediately.)

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