Tips and Tricks to Making Your Best Latkes Yet

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Latkes are a Jewish specialty that’s always a hit during Hanukkah. After all, who wouldn’t like fried potato pancakes? They are crispy yet super juicy and tasty, and while they’re pretty easy to make, here are some tips and tricks to help you make the best latkes ever every single time.

Use the Right Ingredients

If you want your latkes to get extra crispy, you should choose your potatoes carefully. Russet will work best for your recipe and is also a super cheap option. You can also save time by nicely scrubbing the potatoes and leaving the skin on instead of peeling them.

Most recipes require flour, but a matzo meal can give your latkes a better taste and a lighter texture. Even if you don’t have it in your pantry, you can find it in almost all supermarkets.

Squeeze Out Excess Moisture

When making latkes you don’t want excess water during the frying process, so it’s important to squeeze out the excess moisture.

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Transfer the shredded potatoes and onions to a clean kitchen towel and remove all the liquid. The dryer your ingredients are, the better the recipe will turn out.

Heat and Oil Are Important

Since latkes must be fried, the type of oil you use is extremely important. Opt for a neutral oil that has a high smoke point. You can choose vegetable, canola, or grapeseed oil. Add about ¼ inch of oil to the skillet. While frying, ensure that the oil is approximately 350°F and the latkes slightly bubble when you put them in the oil.

If you’re planning to make a few batches of latkes and serve them fresh and crispy, try placing them on sheet pans and set your oven to 200°F. This way, you’ll keep them warm for your guests.

Cook and Serve the Same Day

We know you’ll be super busy preparing holiday meals ahead of time, but latkes taste best when they’re freshly cooked. Plan your dishes ahead of time so that you can make your latkes the same day as your holiday dinner.

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If you want to also make a sauce for the fried potato pancakes, you can make that the day before. When it comes to sauces, applesauce and sour cream go well with latkes. After following these tips, your guests will spend their free time post-holidays raving about your food!

Transparent Glass Frogs Can Turn Almost Invisible When They Sleep

A recent study shows the incredible diversity of evolution in amphibians. A tiny species called the glass frog can become almost invisible while sleeping. Its body becomes virtually undetectable: it casts no shadows and even has no blood inside. How does it do it? By enlarging its liver by over 40% to accommodate 89% of its blood cells. Read more about this intriguing amphibian.

Meet Glass Frogs

A glass frog The nocturnal amphibians turn bright red when they’re active. However, while asleep, they become almost transparent. The amphibian’s digestive system, heart, and liver are encased in a sac that mirrors its surroundings. It tremendously assists the frog in achieving transparency.

Researchers who participated in the study were perplexed by how the tiny frogs could do it. Achieving that level of camouflage is truly mesmerizing because our bodies are full of tissues and cells that absorb and scatter light.

Key Points in the Research

The whole study focuses on tissue transparency in glass frogs and how they succeed in the art of “vanishing blood.” Researchers relied on imaging techniques to conduct the study. They had to make images of awake and asleep species.

Photoacoustic microscopy images showing circulating red blood cells within a glass frog while asleep and under anesthesia.

But, as it turns out, if the frogs are under anesthesia or stressed, they don’t turn transparent at all. So, they had to think of a smart solution to make them happily asleep. Fortunately, the first author of the paper, Carlos Taboada, came up with an ingenious plan.

Taboata proposed they rely on non-invasive imaging technology. It’s called photoacoustic microscopy and essentially, it can detect red blood cells using a laser. The frogs’ molecules absorb light from the lasers and release it back in the form of sound waves. Researchers use those to map the bodies of each amphibian.

Everyone on the team was blown away when they discovered the frog species could hide that much blood in its liver. “They don’t just put in some blood; They put all of their blood in that liver,” said Karen Warkentin, a biologist who participated in the study.