It’s fitting that the ketchup is the only thing in focus in this picture. That also seemed to be the focus of the conversation, Ketchup?! How Midwestern! and These latkes are great, but next time you should try them with sour cream and applesauce. I tried to avoid any great expectations by calling them Potato Pancakes, but maybe I should have introduced them as Hash Brown Bites. Oh well. At least everyone seemed to appreciate the potato part of the dish (they even received the Jewish seal of approval from one friend).
There were three key aspects to making the Potato Pancakes nice and crispy. First of all, as I learned from my brother, moisture is the enemy of crispiness, so you really have to drain the potatoes. After shredding the potatoes in the food processor, I used cheesecloth to squeeze out all the excess water (and there was a lot of it). Secondly, nothing works better for frying than cast iron. I used my new two-burner griddle, but a cast iron frying pan would work just as well (just not as fast). Finally, I reheated the potato pancakes in the oven before serving them, which added some additional firmness.
These were an easy to make and easy to eat — the perfect combination for any brunch buffet.