Thursday, December 15, 2011

Squeezing Hanukkah Potatoes

After Hanukkah for each of the last 15 to 20 years I’ve make a mental note to send my brilliant potato squeezing tip to Cooks Illustrated Magazine in time for the following year’s Latke Issue. And every year I let it slide until it is (again) too late.

So at last, here’s the scoop:
Your potato ricer—that former darling of cooking magazines that now languishes in the back of your cupboard—is actually a Potato Squeezer. It will forever change your life with latkes.

Here’s what to do:
Grate your potatoes as usual, with or without the onions or other veggies you are including. Scrub the dust from your ricer and fill it with as much of the grated mixture as it will hold. Squeeze hard: actually rest the ricer against the edge of the sink and lean on it. A little leverage goes a long way: you won’t believe how much water even a small or weak person can get from a few potatoes! Dump the squeezed stuff into a bowl and repeat until done. This is so easy (and kind of fun) that an obsessive person might be tempted to repeat the whole process a second time. Talk about dry potatoes!

Happy Hanukkah.


  1. Great Tip Alice!!! Holly would like to know what kind of potatoes you favor for Latkes???

    Happy Hanukkah!!! Love to Lucy!!! We are back from the hospital and hoping to be out now for 5-6 weeks until the next surgery.

    Love & Hugs,


  2. I love this tip! I'll give it a try tomorrow night. Beats using the dishtowels and getting potato bits stuck in them :) Thanks!

    Happy Holidays!

  3. Your cookbook "Cookies and Brownies" was my first venture in "baking from scratch" and since then I've been an avid baker! I can't cook a meal worth much but I'm a terrific baker and have fans that look forward to my creations (based on your recipes). After trying other's recipes, I've found your cookbook to be easy, colorful, and consistently produce great results. In fact, it's so worn all the pages are falling out. I have to buy a second copy! Thank you!

  4. I wish I'd read this last week. I use a clean dish towel to wring out the moisture, but halfway through the latke preparation, I'm always squeezing liquid out of each patty. Wondering if this method squeezes them dry enough that more liquid doesn't accumulate as the process goes on.

    Looking for a good chocolate bread pudding recipe, Alice. I've got several, but the soaking instructions differ so dramatically among them, I thought I'd go to the expert. Do you soak the bread for 12-36 hours or hardly at all? Also, all the recipes use semi-sweet chocolate - can I use bittersweet? And, many use chocolate chips, but I remember your saying that chocolate chips contain a stabilizer (or something) that bar chocolate doesn't. And if I decide not to use chips, how many ounces of chocolate does 2 cups of chips translate to?

    Your guidance will be appreciated.

  5. I used your tip, it worked out perfectly! Thank you :)
    Happy New Year!

  6. For me the ricer works sooo much better than a dish towel. It dramatically reduces-sometimes even eliminates-extra liquid continuing to form at the bottom of the bowl.

  7. Re the bread pudding: For me it's about soaking long enough to get the bread completely saturated. Often just 20 or 30 minutes is enough or longer as necessary to get the bread completely squishy. Once the bread is soaked, it can't get and more soaked so I can't see why it needs more time. Some may soak overnight for the convenience of having it ready to go in the morning (like those popular strata recipes that are prepped the night before and then popped into the oven in the am).

    Re chocolate: If you are going to use pieces, or chips or chunks of chocolate that will not be melted and mixed into the "batter", you can use any chocolate you like, regardless of whether it is semisweet, bittersweet, milk, or white. Cacao percentage does not matter either. One cup of chocolate chips is about 6 ounces, thus 2 cups is 12 ounces. Good luck!