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Danny Bortnick Gives a Latke Lesson

Just in time for Hanukkah, Firefly chef Daniel Bortnick demonstrates the secret to great potato latkes. Turns out his version is fairly easy to make as long as you remember a few tips. “Don’t mess with the latkes too much,” advises Bortnick. “Use a spatula to peek under the latkes and see where you’re at. Don’t try to guess. If you flip and flip them again, they’ll fall apart.” Check out the video and recipe below. As a bonus, we’ve also included the recipe to Bortnick’s cranberry/cardamom jam, which he uses to garnish the potato rounds.

Yukon-Gold Potato Latkes

Makes approximately 18

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
1½ yellow onions 
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
¾ cup canola oil

Shred the potatoes and onions in a food processor. Using a strainer, drain all the liquid from the shredded potato mix. Place the potatoes in a bowl and fold in the eggs, scallions, and salt.

Heat a heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat. Add the canola oil and heat until the oil is almost at the smoking point. Spoon golf-ball-size mounds of the potato mixture into the pan. Flatten the mounds with a spatula. Sear for approximately 3 minutes until the edges of the latkes brown, then flip. Lower the temperature slightly and cook for 4 to 5 more minutes. Remove the latkes and place on a wire rack set over a sheet pan. Garnish the latkes with applesauce, sour cream, or cranberry-cardamom jam (recipe below).

Cranberry-Quince-and-Cardamom Jam

2 cups sugar
1 bag fresh cranberries
1 quince, peeled and chopped
6 cardamom pods, crushed, in a cheesecloth bag

Combine all ingredients in a heavy-bottom pot and cook on low heat, stirring until the cranberries have turned to juice. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook until the mix has reduced by a quarter. Remove the cardamom bag. Purée the jam in a blender or food processor. Strain using a sieve. Set aside to cool.

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