Hanukkah cooking

Potato latkes are made with feta cheese and two types of onion. The potatoes can be steamed first in the microwave. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times / November 17, 2011)

Potato latkes with feta cheese and two onions

Total time: 50 minutes

Servings: Makes 1½ to 2 dozen latkes

2 pounds baking potatoes

1/2 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra olive oil (or an olive oil/canola blend) for frying

1 1/2 cups finely chopped red onion

2 green onions, chopped

2 to 4 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, potato flour or tapioca flour

5 1/2 ounces feta cheese (about 1/2 cup), finely crumbled

1 egg

Salt and pepper

1. Scrub the potatoes (do not peel) and cut each into 3 to 4 pieces. Place the potatoes in a large microwaveable bowl with the boiling water. Cover the bowl with a microwaveable plate and cook on high for 15 minutes. Remove the soft potatoes and place them in a separate bowl. (If some pieces are not soft, return them to the microwave, cover and cook for an additional 3 minutes.)

2. While the potatoes are cooking, heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the 2 tablespoons of oil, then the red onion and sauté until golden, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Wait just until the softened potato pieces are cool enough to handle, then peel the warm pieces. Put the pieces through a ricer, or mash them.

4. To the potatoes, add the sautéed red onion, the green onions, the flour, feta cheese and egg. Mix the latke mixture well with a spoon, adding additional flour as needed to form a slightly tacky base. Season with 1¼ teaspoons salt and a heaping one-fourth teaspoon pepper, or to taste. Form the mixture into small latkes, about 2½ inches in diameter.

5. Heat a thin film of oil in a large, nonstick frying pan over medium heat until hot. Fry the latkes, a few at a time, on each side until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the latkes to a paper towel-lined plate before serving.

Each of 2 dozen latkes: 86 calories; 2 grams protein; 9 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 5 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 14 mg cholesterol; 1 gram sugar; 77 mg sodium.