Tips from a latke pro
From latke maker and food writer Amy Rogers of Charlotte, N.C.:
n Crisp latkes mean getting the water out of the potatoes. After you peel them, don't cover them with water. Just work very quickly to shred them into a cotton dish towel and squeeze the water out.
n To keep from nicking your knuckle on the grater, hold your hand flat and press the potato against the grater with your palm, keeping your fingers out of the way.
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n Before you drop the cakes in the hot oil, drop in a shred of potato. It should get bubbly immediately.
n If you want to press the potato cakes with the flat of a spatula while they're frying, spray the spatula with a little nonstick cooking spray so it doesn't stick and tear the crust.
n Don't turn the latkes more than once. Once you turn them, they won't get any browner if you turn them again.
n To tell when they're brown enough, watch the edges: Brown will creep up the sides when they're ready.