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What kind of potato for latkes? What kind of oil?

I heard it said that if you use Yukon Golds, you don't have to peel the potatoes. Does anyone have experience making latkes with unpeeled Yukon Golds? If not, what kind of potatoe do you use? Epicurious says peeled russets. Any other suggestions? And for frying, is sunflower the best kind of vegetable oil to use? Would love to hear your thoughts. And Chappy Chanukah!

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  1. Russets are highest in starch, so it's generally preferred. I personally like golds the most (can't go wrong with that subtle butter flavor) so use them for most things; it helps that it's in the middle when it comes to starch content. Skin is a personal thing. I leave 'em on for everything but gnocchi and bread (since it's really not an option).

    If you'll be serving them to guests, use russets. Best not to take chances with traditional dishes since a different flavor may offend. But, they turn out fine (I'd argue better) if you use golds with skins.

    Sunflower oil is great, especially in this case. I use canola for cooking, but I wouldn't use it for latka since canola is a GM food and whether or not it's kosher is debatable. So, either sunflower or peanut oil will do.

    1. we've been using russets for years, peeled,washed, water removed, blended with onion and fried in Mazola vegetable oil.

      Now the big decision...apple sauce or sour cream. I'm an apple sauce person.

      And Cherry Christmas to you. :-))

      2 Replies
      1. re: jfood

        And why does it have to be either or? I have both apple sauce and sour cream together with my latkes and the same goes for cheese blintzes. By the way, I too was a "Seeing Eye" dog in training who "changed majors" during school. I didn't do well in the dorm atmosphere.

        1. re: jnk

          doesn't need to be either/or. but i do not like sour cream with blintzes or apples sauce with mrs jfood's best blintzes. she likes the opposite. so we are a very progressive household.

          the pups couldn't care less which she gets.

          thanks cousin

      2. For our industrial-size latke parties, I buy a 50-pound box of russets, and I get a three-liter jug of Lion and Globe brand peanut oil from the Chinese grocery. The oil's a little less refined than the US brands, and the peanutty aroma doesn't stop smelling good even after the first hundred people have been served. Also, always use matzo meal, not flour!

        1. Thanks, all! Peeled russets for 48 it is! Wish me luck!!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Lemon Tart

            Wait, 48 people? Aiya ... good luck!

            I use russets too ... and definitely applesauce (homemade, if poss.)

          2. Cook's Illustrated prefers Yukon Gold to Russet for latkes, and I agree with them. That peeling them is optional is icing on the kuchen. I add dehydrated onion rather than fresh because there is never a sharp/raw taste and they absorb some of the excess liquid exuded by the grated potatoes. Always homemade applesauce, rarely sour cream too.