Saturday, January 15, 2011

Caraway Leek Potato Latkes

Leeks and caraway give a really tasty spin to this version of the simple and easy potato latke.

This basic recipe was torn from a Cooking Light magazine and has been stored in a file for several years and resurected when I was looking for something different to accompany some BBQ steaks and use up some ingredients left over from making Potato Leek soup a few days ago.

Naturally, I altered the original recipe to suit what ingredients I have on hand and just because.....that's the way I am.

Had 3 extra large baking potatoes...check
2 leeks.....check
sour cream.....check

OK...let's go.....


  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 cups shredded peeled baking potatoes
  • 2 cups chopped leeks
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp coarse ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 or two large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley

Mix together the sour cream, garlic powder and herbs and let set aside. (When I do this again, I will probably substitute fresh minced garlic for the garlic powder). My sour cream was rather thick so I thinned it with some whipping cream that I had on hand

Grate the potatoes. If you don't have a food processor......get one. It will save you time, protect your knuckles and save your guests from eating parts of your fingers. Toss the potatoes into a medium bowl.

Press some of the potato liquid out of the grated potatoes to keep them from being too wet. I just smoosh the grated potato mass against the side the bowl that I'm using and pour off the liquid. Toss the grated potatoes with the lemon juice. This will keep them from turning orange or rusty brown. Add the chopped tops and all and mix together.

Note: If you have never used leeks before: they are grown in loose sandy soil and will have sand and grit in their layers as they grow. Just a fact of life. Our food is dirty. Be sure to split them in half lengthwise and under running cold water fan out the layers to remove the sandy soil: otherwise you will have grit in your latkes. Cut off the root end. Start slicing thinly crossways from the bottom to the top Coarsly chop. Be sure to use as much of the green tops of the leeks as you can for color and taste. They get tougher at the top end of the leek so I usually discard the top 3 to 5 inches depending on how large the leek is.

Mix in the flour and spices and toss with a fork or fingers. Beat one egg and mix into the potatoes to create a batter. If it seems too dry you can beat the other eggs and add some a little bit at a time. You just want the potatoes to cling together and be bound by the flour but not a wet sloppy mess.

Pre heat oven to 350. Lightly grease or spray with cooking oil a baking sheet and set aside.

Heat up a skillet or griddle with a few tablespoons of oil until it is quite hot. Drop the batter by 1/4 cup amounts or several mounded tablespoons onto the griddle. Level the pancakes/lates out with the back of a spoon if necessary. Cook until golden on one side. Flip and do the same on the other side. Add more oil as necessary.

As the latkes are browned on each side, arrange on the baking sheet.

Bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes until crisp and cooked through.

The normal way to cook latkes is to just fry them in oil until done. By using this recipe method, quick browning and baking, you have a lot less grease because the potatoes will absorb the oil like little sponges. Because this is a Cooking Light recipe, they are always trying to cut down on the fat. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. I actually prefer the latkes done this way.

Serve warm with the sour cream.

Leftover latkes are good sauteed in butter and served as a side for eggs over easy for breakfast.

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