Ever since I was little Hanukkah was always my favorite holiday. While all the kids I went to school with (I was the only Jew) thought I loved it because they assumed it meant eight days of presents. One, no way that was happening. Two, presents are cool, but honestly my favorite thing about Hanukkah was getting to shove my mom’s latkes into my face as fast as possible.
For those who have never had a latke picture this: The ultimate hash browns that are crispy all the way around, but with a slight fluffiness like a pancake. They’re perfection. Like almost all of my mom’s cooking she didn’t really have a set recipe for me, but she gave me her advice and I have done my best to create a working recipe. I’ll always think my mom’s can’t be beat, but at the same time these are really damn tasty! Traditionally they’re topped with either ketchup, sour cream or apple sauce.
- 6-8 russet potatoes peeled and grated
- 2 white onions grated
- 1/4 cup baking powder
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 1/2 tsp salt plus more for garnish
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 cups oil for frying
Combine the grated potato and onion into a tea towel and ring out any juices. You want the veggies as dry as possible. In a large bowl combine the potatoes and onions with the salt, pepper, eggs, and baking powder. Mix by hand until you have a homogenous mixture.
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed, preferably cast iron, skillet to 375 degrees. Grab a handful of the potato mixture and pat into 1/4 inch thick patties. Cook in batches in the oil until the latkes are golden brown, about six to eight minutes per side. Don’t be afraid of making a test latke to get everything just right.
Place the cooked latkes on a baking sheet lined with paper towels and finish with a pinch of salt. Try not to eat all the cooked ones between batches.