When I bought zucchini at the store and shredded them for zuke cakes, I did all the squeezing of water manually, and it was a lot of work. But necessary, so that the cakes didn’t turn out super runny/watery. When I started to grow zukes and had more than I could use at a time, I learned an interesting tidbit. When I shred and froze them, and then thawed them to put into cakes or breads, there was no need for all that manual labor because the freezing broke down the cell walls, the water came out on its own, and I only needed to open the ziplock a smidge and tip out the liquid in the sink.
Hence my latke question. In order to avoid wringing the heck out of the potatoes, I imagine I could get the same result way easier by shredding them, freezing them, and then thawing them. What I’m curious about is whether anyone is already doing this, and whether they think it negatively affects the latke taste or texture. Inquiring minds want to know! And if I can save a bunch of cooks the work of the manual squeeze, I am happy to do so!!
@Sasha - I have found that home frozen potatoes of any ilk are just not good. Have a friend who bought 50 lbs of Yukon Golds at a great price and froze them every which way. She then served them at dinner parties. Yuck!
When I make soups or stews with potatoes, I either don’t freeze leftovers, or I’ll reserve a portion to freeze without potatoes. I also don’t like the texture of frozen carrots, unless they’re diced very finely, but I can tolerate them better than frozen potatoes. The reason commercial frozen potatoes are more acceptable, is the flash freezing processes they use.
Have you tried them to make latkes though? I’m just really curious. I know freezing changes their texture substantially, but I imagine that wringing all the moisure out of them does too… Anyway, just looking for some anecdotal evidence.
No, not in that way. You also need to take into account that shredded potatoes turn dark very easily. That said, it’s always worth a try, without much to lose, if they don’t work out. Let me know if you do try it, because I too am curious!
I’ve frozen grated potatoes - they turn dark, but that might be avoided by mixing with some acid first. Texture was soggier, but that might not matter in the end.
But on to the real issue - squeezing the liquid out. I recently grated, salted, and then transferred the gratings to my largest mesh strainer - found this much easier than other methods I’ve employed (towel, ricer, etc). And salting did release more liquid earlier - usually i salt after, and there’s a little puddle that collects while the first batch is frying.
That said, there are plenty of bubbe videos and recipes that skip the draining step entirely, and intend for a dropping batter rather than a mostly dry mixture, so there’s that too.
Ok, over the break, since I’m taking PTO days while my kids are out of school, I will take one for the team and freeze some shredded potatoes, and let you all know how they worked out for latkes.
I do realize that wringing out the moisure is optional, but I think the texture of the latke is wrong if you don’t. You end up having to add a lot of flour and such to soak up the liquid. My personal opinion.
For latke we use a box grater and squeeze the liquid through a plain muslin milking bag. Then we let the potatoes air dry while heating the oil and mixing the rest of the latke ingred in a bowl. Fold in shreds and then begin frying small rounds. Same with zukes, sweet potatoes and carrot versions. If we do freeze them, it’s after frying and then well wrapped but reheating we use an air fryer.