It wouldn’t be Chanukah without potato latkes. When we were kids my mom used to throw a Chanukah party for my brother, sister and I. We were each allowed to invite 3 friends and we lit the candles and opened presents and ate potato latkes. We talked about Chanukah with our Goyim friends and everyone went home full and happy. Let me sum up Chanukah for you: Macabees, oil, candles, potato latkes. The idea is that there was supposed to be enough oil in the lanterns for one night and miraculously it lasted 8! At least that’s what they told me in Hebrew school, and that’s what we told our friends. So we cook things in oil to celebrate. In the grand scheme of Judaism Chanukah is pretty minor, and over the years it has become the Jewish answer to gift giving at this time of year. But what a great excuse to make potato latkes! I know the house smells like latkes for days after we make them but I don’t care. They are just so delicious. In the spirit of my Grandma I have to make them my own. I don’t like it when have the consistency of mashed potatoes. Far to often people just squash a giant glob of mashed potatoes on the flattop and make a mashes potato pancake. Lame. I like texture and color and they should look like they have some yummy life to them! So I use the food processor (some say you should use a box grater). I also like to add some sweet potato to the mix. It gives them a tangy sweetness that is subtle and nutty. Of course the sour cream and apple sauce need to accompany them, as per family tradition, but you can top them smoked salmon or caviar if you are feeling a little fancy pants…oh and I don’t think latkes should only be eaten on Chanukah.
3 Large Russet Potatoes1
1 Medium Sweet Potato
1 Large Yellow Onion
1 big handfull Dill chopped
1 small bunch chives chopped
4 T flour
4 Large eggs lightly beaten
giant pinch of kosher salt
Oil for frying (I like extra virgin olive oil but my mom always used vegetable oil)
Shred the potatoes and onion in food processor. Put in a mesh strainer set over a bowl and let the most of the liquid drain out. Squeeze as much moisture from the mixture as possible.
Mix in dill, chives, eggs, flour and salt. I like to make the pancakes with my hands but if you aren’t into making a big mess you can use a cookie scoop or 2 spoons. Generously oil a big non-stick skillet or cast iron pan (this makes it so you don’t have to use as much oil). Heat oil over medium heat and drop pancakes into hot oil. Fry until nicely browned and flip and brown the other other side. Transfer to paper towel lined plate to rest before serving with your favorite accompaniment. This makes enough latkes for me and my husband to eat for dinner, use that info however you want to…