Latkes, or potato pancakes, are a tasty part of the traditional Hanukkah meal.
Step 1: Shred the potatoes Peel the potatoes and then grate them by hand or shred them in a food processor. If you’re using frozen shredded potatoes, let them defrost in a bowl.
Step 2: Dice the onion Dice the onion by hand or with your food processor.
Step 3: Squeeze dry Squeeze the excess water out of the potatoes and onions with paper towels or a clean dish towel.
Step 4: Mix with other ingredients In a large bowl, mix the potatoes and onions with the beaten eggs and the flour or matzo meal. Add salt and pepper to taste.
TIP: If the mixture seems too wet to form into patties, gradually add more flour or matzo meal until you reach the desired consistency.
Step 5: Heat frying pan Fill a large frying pan with vegetable oil about one-quarter inch deep and turn the burner on to medium heat.
Step 6: Make a test latke Test the temperature of the oil by making just one patty out of about two tablespoons of batter and lowering it into the oil. It should take about three minutes on each side to cook. If it takes longer or shorter, adjust the burner.
Step 7: Drain latkes Once you’ve tweaked the temperature, cook several latkes at once, keeping a little space between them. When they’re done, transfer them to a baking sheet covered with paper towels so the excess oil is absorbed.
TIP: You can make the latkes up to an hour before serving, keeping them warm in a 350-degree oven.
Step 8: Garnish and serve Serve with a dollop of sour cream—cottage cheese or plain yogurt is fine if you’re watching your weight—and a spoonful of applesauce.
FACT: The oil in which the latkes are fried is a tribute to the tiny amount of oil that miraculously kept a light burning for eight days in the Temple of Jerusalem.