How do I keep latkes hot and crisp?
I am making latkes, potato pancakes, for dinner on Friday, and have conflicting advice on how to keep the pancakes hot and crisp. Some say in a low oven, but I worry that will make them limp. Others say a hot oven, and I worry then that they will become overcoooked. Do I put them on paper towels or brown bags or not. Please help ASAP!!
Thanks so much and Happy last night of Chanukah.
If you can't make 'em on the spot...pre-heat your oven up to about 400 degrees for 10 minutes then lower the temp to 200 and stick those latke's in to warm for 5-8 minutes, longer if you literally just took them out of the fridge. Should be pretty good.
Personally, I probably wouldn't refrigerate them at all if I made them earlier in the day -- that fridge is a killer for fried things! If you observe Shabbat (or want to get some "good points"), do the pre-heat thing to 500 for a good 15 minutes before candlelighting and then pop those latkes in and turn off the oven -- if your having dinner within an hour or so after that they'll be tasty as ever.
With the oven on low, put the latkes in a single layer on a cookie sheet,(on paper towels if you haven't already sopped up the grease). Do not put a towel on top.
Caution: a hot oven will cause the latkes to overcook and the paper towels to burn, as I learned the hard way last night, when I put the latkes in a 350 deg. oven where chicken was cooking on the top shelf. Fortunately, I opened to oven to add a couple of latkes just as the paper was on the verge of combusting. All those beautiful crisp latke edges had blackened. Argh!
Last night's Solution:
no paper towels or brown paper bags at all anywhere. Under fry the latkes when making originally them. Do not refrigerate. Reheat in 4oo degree oven for exactly 10 minutes to finish cooking and remain crisp. They were perfect!
I use a blech on shabbat, and the trick I've learned over years of keeping fried food crispy is to line the pan with parchment paper and cover with a cloth (flour sack towel works well). The cloth absorbs any steam that the food may give off. This works for latkes, schnitzel, etc.