Crispy Skillet Latke with Kale

For Ashkenazi Jews (those hailing from Central and Eastern Europe), latkes are the heart and soul of Hanukkah. Instead of frying batches of traditional pancakes, here the whole lot of shredded potato batter is pressed into a sizzling frying pan and finished in the oven. The oversized pancake emerges golden with a tender center and crackly shoestring curls around the perimeter. To amp this dish up for brunch, serve it topped with lox.

Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
Yield:
6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, divided

  • 1 medium-size red onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more for sprinkling

  • 1 (8-ounce) bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, leaves sliced into thin ribbons (about 4 packed cups)

  • 1 teaspoon water

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed and quartered

  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered lengthwise with root end intact

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1/3 cup panko or unsalted matzo meal

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh chives, plus more for garnish

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/3 cup crème fraîche (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large (12-inch) cast-iron skillet over medium. Add red onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add kale and 1 teaspoon water; cook, folding kale into onion mixture, until kale wilts, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar; cook, stirring constantly, until evaporated, about 20 seconds. Remove from heat. Transfer mixture to a small heatproof bowl; set aside. Wipe skillet clean.

  2. Preheat oven to 475°F with rack in middle position. Grate potatoes and yellow onion on large holes of a box grater. Working in batches, place grated vegetable mixture on a clean kitchen towel, and squeeze firmly over sink to remove as much liquid as possible. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add eggs, panko, chives, lemon zest, pepper, and remaining 2 teaspoons salt; stir until combined.

  3. Add 1/4 cup oil to cleaned skillet, and swirl to coat. Heat over medium-high until oil shimmers. Spoon potato mixture into skillet (mixture should sizzle on contact). Using a spatula, press mixture into an even layer to cover bottom of skillet. Brush top of latke with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Bake in preheated oven on middle rack until latke bottom is browned and edges are crisp, about 15 minutes.

  4. Heat broiler to high (do not remove skillet from oven). Broil until top of latke is golden brown in spots, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool 5 minutes.

  5. Place a large plate on top of skillet, and invert to remove latke. Sprinkle latke lightly with salt. Top with kale mixture and, if desired, dollops of crème fraîche. Garnish with additional chives.

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