Sour cream and applesauce are the traditional latke toppings. Chef Rachel Klein of Om restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts, adds an onion relish to give these crisp latkes a sweet and tart kick.
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1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion (3/4 pound), thinly sliced, plus 1 small onion
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon light brown sugar
4 large Granny Smith apples (2 pounds)peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch chunks
1/4 cup water
1 thin lemon slice
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 large baking potato (1 pound), peeled
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon matzo meal
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
How to Make It
In a large saucepan, melt the butter in 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil over moderately high heat. Add the sliced large onion and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to moderately low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden, about 1 hour. Stir in the vinegar and brown sugar and continue cooking until the onion is browned and almost dry, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the apples with the water and lemon slice and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are softened, about 10 minutes. Discard the lemon slice. Transfer the applesauce to a bowl. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
In a food processor or on a box grater, coarsely shred the small onion and the potato. Transfer to a colander and squeeze dry. Let stand for 2 minutes, then squeeze again. Transfer the potato mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the flour, matzo meal, egg, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper.
In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until shimmering. Drop packed teaspoons of the potato mixture into the skillet and flatten them with the back of a spoon. Cook the latkes over moderately high heat until the edges are golden, about 1 1/2 minutes; flip and cook until golden on the bottom, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.
Arrange the latkes on a platter. Top each latke with caramelized onion, applesauce and sour cream. Serve warm.
The fried latkes can be kept at room temperature for up to 4 hours. Reheat them on a dark baking sheet in a 375° oven for about 5 minutes, or until warmed through and crisp. The applesauce and caramelized onion can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Serve at room temperature or warm.
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