French Potato Pancakes

French Potato Pancakes

When the chef Daniel Rose was growing up, his mother would make potato pancakes the first and the last three nights of Hanukkah. These latkes are inspired by the French classic pommes Darphin, but the addition of onions puts them in a category all their own.

Ingredients

  • 1medium Spanish onion
  • 2large russet potatoes, peeled (about 1 3/4 pounds)
  • 4tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste
  • Grapeseed oil, for frying
  • Apple compote, for serving (see recipe)
  • ½cup crème fraîche, for serving

Preparation

  1. Working quickly to avoid discoloration, cut onion and potatoes in large chunks and then shred them, either by hand or by using the grating blade of a food processor.
  2. One handful at a time and working over the sink, squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the potato and onion mixture and transfer to a medium bowl. Mix gently with your fingers. Pour the melted butter over the mixture, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and lightly work in with your fingers.
  3. Heat an 8-inch nonstick frying pan and pour in enough grapeseed oil to lightly coat the bottom. When oil is almost smoking, spoon half the potato mixture into the pan, spreading it over the bottom of the pan and patting it down gently with a spatula so it is about an inch thick. Use the spatula to push in stray pieces to make a clean edge.
  4. Fry for about 4 minutes on one side or until golden brown around the edges, then slide onto a plate. Invert the pan over the plate and flip, transferring pancake back into the pan on its other side. Cook for another 4 minutes or until crispy on the outside.
  5. Slide pancake onto a paper-towel-covered plate and blot with additional paper towels to absorb excess oil. Remove top paper towels and flip pancake onto a clean plate using the same method as above. Keep in a warm oven as you repeat the process with the remaining potato mixture.
  6. Season finished pancakes with more salt if desired. Using a sharp knife, cut like a pie into 6 pieces and serve each with a little apple compote and a dollop of crème fraîche.

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