You might be wondering why I bothered to write “gluten free” in the title of this recipe. You’d just assume that potato latkes don’t have gluten in them, right? After all, potatoes don’t have gluten. But this brings us to an insidious part of food production: wheat flour is in things you would never expect it to be in, and that means gluten pops up unexpectedly all the time. Once again, this goes to show that making things at home, so you can control your ingredients, is always going to be best.
So, these latkes in particular… the first year Adam and I were married I decided to make the traditional latkes for the first night of Hanukkah and I asked him to get me a recipe. He put little into the search and immediately emailed me the first recipe he came across. It was from the website of a band called The Hot Latkes Klezmer Band. Surprisingly, it was so good it’s been my go-to latke recipe ever since.
But, it calls for wheat flour, not much, but some, so I had to adapt. This is where you’ve got to use your brain in recipe adaptation because you have to think about what the purpose of the flour is in the recipe. I mean, I suppose I could have used a generic Gluten Free flour mix since it was such a small amount, but it occurred to me that the flour is there to absorb some of the liquid from the onion and potato and help act a a binder to hold the latkes together. Once I thought about it that light it was a no-brainer to use potato starch in place of the flour. Potato starch is a binder and absorbs like a champ and it is, after all, potato.
So why am I posting this recipe after Hanukkah is over? Well, I got mixed up about when Hanukkah was this year and was off by a day. I decided not to wait a year to give you this recipe. Latkes are great any day, not just during the festival of lights. FYI, this recipe is actually a doubling of the original recipe because when I make them for our family of four we need a ton; we can really burn through those latkes. When we have company, well, I double the already doubled batch. Yes, we need that many. And my answer to the age old “apple sauce or sour cream” question, I confidently say: Both!