Confit potato latkes with toum


First published in 2020
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Place the butter, thyme and garlic in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once the butter has completely melted, keep warm and leave to infuse while you prepare the potatoes (but do not allow the butter to colour or burn)
Peel the potatoes and slice them as thinly as possible (use a mandoline if you have one). Line a rectangular baking dish with baking paper. The size of the tray is important, as you want the potatoes to fit snugly so they end up around 2 inches high once pressed. For this amount of potatoes, a dish that’s roughly 14x16cm (and about 2 litres in capacity) should do the trick
Place a layer of sliced potatoes in the baking dish, then season with salt and pepper. Repeat this process until the baking dish is full of seasoned potato slices, pushing them down slightly to ensure they are snug and tightly fitted together. Once the dish is full, strain the butter and pour it over the potatoes. Leave to stand for 10 minutes while you preheat an oven to 150°C/gas mark 2
Cover the baking dish with foil and cook in the oven for 2 hours. Once cooked, remove the foil and place a sheet of baking paper on top of the potatoes. Place another slightly smaller baking dish on top, covered with lots of heavy weights (tins work well). You want the entirety of the baking dish to be weighted down equally, so a baking sheet or similar-sized baking dish that fits snugly on top of the potatoes would work well. Transfer to the fridge and chill thoroughly (ideally overnight)
When the potatoes are fully chilled, make the toum. Place the garlic, salt, lemon juice and egg white in a blender and blitz on a high speed until white and completely smooth (this should take about 5 minutes). With the motor still running, gradually pour in the oil until you are left with a fully emulsified sauce. Transfer to a squeezy bottle and reserve in the fridge until ready to serve
Preheat a deep-fat fryer or deep pan of oil to 180°C. Carefully cut the potatoes into equal portions, around 5cm in size – you should end up with around 18-24 latkes, depending on the depth and size of your baking dish
Deep-fry the latkes for a few minutes until they crisp up and turn a deep golden brown. It’s important to do this in batches so the temperature of the oil doesn’t drop – you can keep the latkes warm in a low oven until they are all cooked
Season and serve the latkes with the toum on the side, covered with a sprinkling of Aleppo chilli
First published in 2020
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