Latkes. Oh, you guys. Of all the foods in all the Jewish holidays, this one wins my heart and my heart wins a cardiologist, but all that grease sure is worth it. So what is a latke? It’s a potato pancake! A pancake made of potatoes. It’s genius!
Of course, in these modern times, people have added all sorts of other ingredients like sweet potatoes, squash, beets, even kimchi! Pretty much every European country has some version or other, even some Eastern ones like India and Korea have their own. Because potatoes + oil = yes.
Here are a few varieties:
Sweet Potato Latke:
Here’s a basic latke recipe. Feel free to add whatever ingredients you’d like: the above, as well as spices (like basil or cilantro, for example), carrots, rutabaga, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, and whatever else you can think of!
Grab some potatoes and onions. I would do a 6:1 potato:onion ratio, but to each their own (6 taters = 24ish latkes). You’ll need:
- 6 taters
- 1 onion
- one egg per pound of potatoes (2-3 taters = 1lb)
- about a half teaspoon of salt
- let’s say half a cup of oil (olive, vegetable, canola are traditional but coconut oil is also great to cook with and healthy!) but you’ll see how much you use as you go along.
Grate the potatoes and put them in a bowl of water as you go along, so they don’t get all gross and brown. Make sure you drain them with a collander (even squeeze them with your hand) before you start cooking. Grate onions into a bowl as well. When both are ready, mix them with the egg(s), salt, and whatever other ingredients and spices you’d like to add. A dash of flour can add some cohesion, about a Tablespoon per pound of taters. Gluten free flour works just as well, if that’s how you roll (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose GF Flour).
Heat some oil in a skillet. Grab about 2T of mixture per latke and fry them in the pan in round patties. It should take about 4-5 minutes for the underside to brown; this is your cue to flip those puppies. Once they’re done, it’s a good idea to put them on a plate with a paper towel on it to soak up some of the oil, and then transfer it into the oven if you want to keep it warm and serve all at once (heating the oven to 250°F should be good)
Traditional toppings are apple sauce or sour cream, but this is a fun area to get creative with too! Some people go with ketchup (especially people who are small children), others enjoy jam or even pesto. Personally, I’m a big advocate for ranch dressing on everything.
There are still 7 weeks until Channukah/Hanuka/Hannukach, so go forth and experiment! Leave your recipes and ideas in the comments below!