Seeking The Finest Latke In The Land

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Given that Brooklyn is pretty much the birthplace of Jewish-American food culture, it’s safe to say there are plenty of lauded latke cooks in the borough. Even if your Bubby retired to Boca Raton, you probably still pull out her recipe when they start putting up the menorah in Grand Army Plaza.

Latke lore tells us there’s long been a debate over formation technique—do you grate your spuds or chop them?—though most cooks add both matzo meal and onion. But, hey, now that Brooklyn has entered the era of culinary enlightenment, chances are our readers have gone beyond yesteryear’s plain old potato pancakes. Do you lean locavore by adding a bit of butternut squash or candy striped beets? Go global by topping them with Mexican crema and chiles from Sunset Park? Or maybe you call on your own mixed heritage to make Polish placki, perhaps a plate of Swedish raggmunk.

Whatever your approach, we’re looking for the best of the borough for our December 19th Latke Festival at BAM, hosted with Great Performances. Just e-mail your favorite recipe—Bubby’s is just as welcome as your own contemporary riff—to [email protected] by November 1. The winner (chosen by us, natch) will have not just the honor of showing off his or her crispy creation at the event alongside some of the city’s best chefs, but will also score a brand-new Breville 5-quart die-cast stand mixer. That’s a Mercedes of a machine that might not help you with your latkes, but will make short work of those Hanukkah sponge cakes and coconut macaroons.

Love latkes? Send your best recipe, new or old, to [email protected] com by December 1. If you win, you’ll nab this shiny silver machine—and we’ll cook up your version at our Latke Fest on December 19th at BAM, where we’ll offer more potato pancakes than you can shake a dreidel at. Tickets at greatperformances.com.

Photo credit: Rodney Bedsole.

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Rachel Wharton is the former deputy editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She won a 2010 James Beard food journalism award, holds a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, and has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and reporter. A North Carolina native and a former features food reporter for the New York Daily News, she edited the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and was the co-author of both Handheld Pies and DiPalo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy. Her work also appears in publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Saveur.