Finally, a recipe that I'll stack up against the potato pancakes at Manny's Deli in Chicago, which until now have been my all-time favorite! Peanut oil and canola oil both have worked fine for me. I'll mix the egg, flour, salt and onion first, then shred the potatoes last on a mandoline with the shredder insert, dropping the shred into a salad spinner half-filled with water. Drain the water, spin out the rest of the moisture and voila - you're good to go. Next step - trying to equal Manny's pastrami sandwiches ...
Emphasizing what others have said about keeping latkes from coming out oily - make sure your oil is plenty hot - almost smoking! The quicker the egg and flour mixture forms a crust on the outside, the less oil will penetrate. Just check that they're a good, rich brown color and look crisp, then turn promptly - they'll come out fine and with minimal oil when you fry the other side to the same color. Just as with other fried potatoes, sprinkle with salt right away.
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Finally, a recipe that I'll stack up against the potato pancakes at Manny's Deli in Chicago,...