How far in advance can I grate potatoes for my latkes?

Basic Potato Latkes
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr

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If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

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When you're making latkes, you can grate the potatoes up to about 3 hours ahead. They will turn pinkish brown, but they are about to be fried into golden perfection, so it doesn’t matter. As the potatoes sit, the will leech a lot of liquid; drain and discard the liquid before mixing with flour, egg, etc.

For what it’s worth: one year we made the mixture for to serve latkes to about 50 people. But just before we started to cook, smoke billowed out of the fireplace and we had to evacuate the house! By the time the firemen came, declared us safe and left, our guests were very hungry and our mixture had sat for a couple of hours. We will always ask ourselves if the latkes were better that year than any other because the mixture “rested”—or because we were all hungry by the time we finally ate.


For more tips, see Can I Make Latkes in Advance? and check out Our Best Latke Recipes.


Recipe: Basic Potato Latkes

Marge Perry
Nov, 2010

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