When I was a little kid I used to count how many latkes, or potato pancakes, I could eat over the 8 days of Hanukkah; between school and various parties and home my annual latke count was pretty high! Now I don’t have the desire (or cholesterol) to indulge in quite so many latkes each year so the ones I do eat really need to be worth it. These latkes are my favorites by far, my Grandma Belle’s recipe. I can’t remember a Hanukkah yet where these weren’t part of the celebration at some point over the 8 days. I don’t know that there’s anything particularly unique about this recipe, but sometimes things are a tradition for a reason, right? No need to modify anything about these in my opinion. The only thing I’ve changed from Grandma’s recipe is I don’t grate the potatoes and onions by hand anymore. I used to, thinking it was sacrilege not to, but really, there’s nothing in the bible about skinned knuckles being part of the holiday, plus I really don’t have the time. Grating the potatoes in the food processor changes the appearance of the latkes a bit but there’s no difference in flavor. Enjoy with applesauce or sour cream.
And a side note, if you’ve never made latkes before…after you make the latkes, you’ll get to enjoy the smell of Hanukkah for several days as the fried latke scent permeates your home. It’s not Hanukkah without it though!
Yield: about 15 latkes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil plus more for frying
1 small onion
4 medium potatoes
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
applesauce or sour cream for topping
1. In a large bowl beat together the eggs and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
2. In a food processor, grate the onion and add to the bowl with the eggs. Then peel the potatoes and grate them in the food processor. Both the onion and potatoes can be grated by hand if no food processor is available. Drain the potatoes thoroughly; squeezing as much liquid out as possible will result in crispy latkes. Add the drained potatoes to the egg mixture.
3. Stir in the flour, salt, and baking powder until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
4. Heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Test the oil to see if it is hot enough by putting a small amount of the batter in; if the oil sizzles it is ready. Spoon heaping tablespoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil and flatten slightly. Cook until golden on one side, then flip and cook until golden on the other side.
5. Place on a paper towel to soak up any extra oil. Serve with applesauce or sour cream.