Tonight is the 5th night of Hanukkah, the Jewish celebration of lights. Potato latkes are traditionally eaten during the eight days of festivities but you certainly don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy them. You can sometimes find them on menus at delis but they’re very easy to make at home. The potatoes and onions can be grated by hand or with a food processor. Latkes are best eaten fresh out of the pan – they don’t really re-heat very well. Serve with sour cream or applesauce.
Makes about 8 large latkes
- 3 large russet potatoes, peeled
- 1 small onion, peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 egg
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- Neutral oil such as safflower, for pan frying latkes
- Sour cream or apple sauce, to garnish (optional)
- Grate potatoes and onion and place in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and let sit for five minutes.
- After five minutes, use your hands to wring any liquid from the shredded potatoes and discard the liquid (you can also do this by pressing the potato mixture in a colander).
- Add egg and flour to the potato mixture and use your hands to thoroughly combine the ingredients.
- In a large, deep skillet, add oil so that is about 1/4″ to 1/2″ deep in the pan. Heat on high until ready to fry (to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit or until a small piece of potato dropped in sizzles and turns golden). Be sure to watch the oil carefully!
- Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop out some potato mixture. Carefully place in the oil and flatten slightly with a spatula. Repeat scooping the mixture but make sure the latkes are not crowded in the pan (you will likely have to do two batches).
- Let the latkes cook until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Carefully turn over with a spatula and cook the other side. When the pancakes are dark golden and cooked through, remove from the pan and place on a paper-towel lined plate.
- Season with additional salt to taste and serve with sour cream or applesauce, as desired.
Happy Hanukkah and Enjoy!