MAKES ABOUT 18
2 ½ lbs potatoes, peeled
1 small yellow onion, peeled
¼ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon marjoram
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups matzo meal
Lots of vegetable oil for frying
Have brown paper shopping bags or paper towels ready for draining the latkes.
If using a food processor, use the grating blade to shred the potatoes and the onion. If shredding by hand, use a grater to shred all the potatoes. Dice the onion as finely as possible.
In a large mixing bowl, use a wooden spoon or your hands, mix the potatoes and onions with the cornstarch until the potatoes have released some moisture and the starch is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add the salt and pepper, and stir. Add the matzo meal and mix well. Set aside for about 10 minutes. The mixture should become liquidy but sticky.
In the meantime, preheat a large, preferably cast-iron but definitely nonstick skillet over medium heat, a little bit on the high side. Pour a ¼-inch layer of vegetable oil in the pan. The oil is hot enough when you throw a bit of batter in and bubbles rapidly foam around it. If it immediately smokes, the heat is too high and you should lower it a bit. If the bubbles are really lazy, give the oil a few more minutes or raise the heat a bit.
With wet hands (so that the mixture doesn’t stick), roll the batter into golf ball-size balls. Flatten into thin, round patties. Fry about four to six at a time; just be careful not to crowd the pan. Fry on one side for about 4 minutes, until golden brown. Flip over and fry for another 3 minutes.
Transfer to the paper towels and proceed with remaining latkes. Once latkes have drained on both sides, place in a baking pan and keep at 200°F or cover with aluminum foil, to keep warm.
Horseradish-Dill Sour Cream
1 lb soft tofu
2 tablespoons fresh, grated horseradish
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon agave or real maple syrup
¾ teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup grapeseed oil
1 cup loosely packed fresh dill
Remove the tofu from the package and shake off excess water. Place in a blender or food processor along with the horseradish, apple cider vinegar, agave, and salt. Blend until smooth.
Preheat a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Place the garlic and grapeseed oil in the pan. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes. The garlic should be blondir (that means “lightly brown”) but not burnt. Add the oil to the tofu mixture and blend again until smooth – the cream will be light green with some flecks of dill. Scrape down the sides to make sure you get everything.
Taste and adjust for salt and vinegar, if necessary. Transfer to a bowl and seal tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.