Cooking with Didi Conn – Potato latkes with leeks

Happy Hannukah! My favorite holiday. And today
we’re going to make latkes. But it’s gonna be latkes like you’ve never had before… Did I tell you we’re going to have a miracle today? Well this is my dearest friend, Viviane,
and she has the most wonderful recipe for latkes.
Yes, I’m Viviane, with And I feel the lucky one because today, Didi Conn
is joining me to make a recipe. I can’t wait to show it to you.
Oh, listen! I’ve got a present for you. Here. Happy Hanukkah.
She’s too much. Oh my gosh, look at that! Frenchy in Grease!
Yes, well, French-style latkes; she had to come along. So here, we can take her out.
Come on, Frenchy. Are you ready for Frenchy-style latkes? Here we go!
So you wash them first? Yeah, we’re just going to peel them. We need
about a pound and a quarter of potatoes for this recipe.
How many latkes will it make, about? It makes about 20 latkes.
Really? Yeah.
I was afraid of cooking, before I met Viviane. Honesty.
Don’t believe a word that she says. She’s a fantastic cook.
Ooh ooh! I’ve got one of these. Have you used it yet?
No. I was afraid. You show me. Well, we’re definitely going to use it today.
What I love about this is that it’s going to make cutting the latkes a cinch. And it
will look very stylish. You don’t grate them?
I don’t grate them. We’re going to cut them in juliennes, so it’s going to be little shoestring
potatoes. Oh, like pomme fritte?
Like le pomme fritte, but le pomme paille, even smaller. Put the potato cut-side-, fit
the handle over it, and then just slide it. Look at those beautiful julienne slices.
Gorgeous. Oh, this is much easier than grating. Let’s see. Ooh, I did it! Look at that.
So now you’re going to put the potato pieces in a bowl.
I still can’t get over this. This makes 20 latkes? Two potatoes?
Well we have leeks coming too, you know. And now you’re going to cover the potatoes with
water – spring water. Water? How come?
We’re going to soak them. Why are we soaking the potatoes? Is it to
get them clean? No, it’s simply to remove some of the starch,
because that’s going to make the potatoes even crispier. So, the next thing we need
to do is to cut the leek the same size as the potatoes.
Okay. So let me show you. First, you cut the leek
in about 2 1/2-inch pieces. And then you’re going to cut each piece lengthwise in julienne
slices, as fine as you can get them. Now we need to drain the potatoes.
Oh, right here? Yeah, just put them on a clean kitchen towel.
Know what’s great about this recipe? You don’t cry! When old grandma made the recipe, the
onions just make you cry, and then you’re crying because you miss all your relatives.
This just smells so good and fresh; I love the smell of leeks.
So let’s spread them out, and then we’re going to top them with another clean towel and then
blot them dry. So now we need to put the potatoes in the bowl.
Okay, great. Look how they stayed white! That’s amazing.
I know, that’s because we soaked them. So now you add the leeks.
It smells so good! Okay, I think we’re ready. So now sprinkle
with the flour. Add the salt and the black pepper — and we want lots of black pepper.
That sounds good. Great, now you mix again. Hey, making me do all the work? You little
star, you. Now we’re ready to drizzle the mixture with
the eggs. Nice and foamy eggs! She did a good job.
She sure did! Now you want to keep mixing with your hands.
Okay, so this is getting pretty wet. Do the eggs keep it together?
Yeah, a little bit, but it’s super-light; these latkes are so light.
I’m getting hungry, V. Me too!
Put it in here? Yup. And we’re going to put it in a colander
because we’re going to want this mixture to drain a little bit.
Look at all that liquid! We definitely don’t want that in the latkes. You know, it’s the
salt that makes the vegetables sweat. You ready to cook?
Yes, yes, yes! Alright, so let’s pour the oil in the pan.
How much just to cover? You want to generously cover the pan.
Okay. How’s that? That’s perfect. Alright, and now we turn on
high, and we want to heat the oil at a really good temperature. And I have a little trick
I’m going to show you. Great! So you don’t put water?
No. This is your trick.
That’s my trick. So put a little piece of potato in the pan, and when it sizzles vigorously
like now, you know your oil is ready. Oh that’s great! Because water splashes, and
splashes. Alright, so now we need to shape the latkes,
and I like to use a regular spoon and fork for this. Grab a little bit of the mixture
here, which is about 1/3 of a cup. And then just put it in an oblong pattern like this
— like if we were creating little haystacks. You know, I see our oil is really hot now,
so I’m going to reduce it a little bit to medium-high. Because we’re cooking with olive
oil, we want to make sure we don’t burn it. You did a fantastic job! They look great!
I think this one is ready. I’m so used to squeezing, and doing all kinds
of things. The first one is ready.
It looks so civilized! And we’re going to have Champagne…
I told you, they’re going to be “French-y” latkes. Okay, I think they’re ready to flip.
Boy, you really have much more control like this. It’s so easy to do it. Beautiful!
Oh, they look great. So pretty. You’re such an artist, V.
Oh, you’re so sweet. Look how beautiful that looks, the colors.
They look like they’re little haystacks. This is Grandma B’s, one of her cookbooks,
my mother’s mother. “If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then latkes
will get there faster and stay longer.” And she also says you’ve got to make sure you
make a lot of latkes, because this recipe, she says… this is the traditional recipe,
you know the peasant recipe. But it actually uses about the same amount of ingredients
that you use. She says: “This recipe should serve 4 to 6 people, but some people see potato
latkes, they act like they haven’t eaten for a week! They still want to make from latkes
alone a meal. So, when you have people who enjoy so much, so you won’t mind grating potatoes
all day long.” But we didn’t have to grate, this is what I can’t get over! It was much
less work. It’s delicate, beautiful, my mouth is watering…
Have one! Just have one?
Yeah, let’s have one before we decorate them. Sure. Oh my goodness! V, this is delicious.

9 thoughts on “Cooking with Didi Conn – Potato latkes with leeks

  1. So happy I came across your channel! Your recipes are amazing, you describe the food so vividly I feel like I can taste them as you're cooking, I'm sharing this with everyone!

  2. Well, glad to see Stacy Jones is still the same these years later.

    Great video, and it is great to see Didi after all these years when I watched Shining Time Station all those years ago.

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