Chef Anthony Rose, known as the “king of comfort food” has partnered with food writer Chris Johns to create The Last Schmaltz: A Very Serious Cookbook, in which storytelling and cooking come together in delicious harmony.
Here, just in time for Hanukkah, we asked Johns to leak one of his favourites from the book, Schmaltz Latkes.
The Backstory (from Johns)
“As far as I’m concerned, Anthony’s latkes are the finest in all the land,” opines Johns. “Ridiculously crisp and tender, they appear utterly simple but are the result of a few clever tricks that add up to something exceptionally delicious. Anthony “sweats” the onion with salt for a few minutes to remove the extra moisture and rests the potato mixture after forming to let the flavours mingle, but the true genius of his recipe is the generous use of rendered chicken fat, schmaltz, to fry them in. Anthony serves them with his mother’s delicious applesauce but they’d make an excellent vehicle for chopped liver or lemon dill gravlax, as well.”
Schmaltz Latkes recipe (from Rose)
Serves 4 to 6
You can fry your latkes in oil or butter or whatever you want. My festival of lights includes schmaltz, the generously delicious rendered fat from chicken skins. Schmaltz adds flavour, depth and overall intensity to an already scrumptious dish. You can serve this with my mom’s applesauce recipe or with smoked salmon and caviar on top, which is next level.
1 small white onion
1 tbsp kosher salt, divided
⅓ lb Yukon Gold potatoes
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
⅔ cup matzoh meal or panko
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
Schmaltz or duck fat, for frying
½ cup sour cream, for dipping
5 lb Spy apples (use McIntosh if Spys aren’t available)
2 sticks cinnamon
3 tbsp white sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
Smoked salmon and caviar, for serving
First start the latkes. Peel and slice your onion very thinly, then season with ½ tbsp salt and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes to get all the juices out.