Latkes are crispy, naturally sweet, salty and irresistible—it’s a shame we wait all year to enjoy them!
Chanukah Latkes are that ethereal treat; a potato mixture made by dropping large tablespoons into a skillet of shimmering, hot oil.
Fried foods are traditionally eaten during this “festival of lights” in commemoration of the oil that miraculously burned for eight days. Crispy, naturally sweet, salty and irresistible – it’s a shame we wait all year to enjoy them.
I like to play with my latke ingredients and discover interesting, distinctive combinations.
I love extra veggies in the batter, so I fold in 3 kinds of onions – leeks, scallions and yellow onions.. and carrots for color and a blast of extra sweetness. Two kinds of potatoes are used, Yukon Gold for their flavor and appealing yellow color, and Russets for their high starch content. Many times I add some grated zucchini and chopped parsley into the batter.
The trick for a perfect latke is twofold:
1. For Crispiness: Squeeze your potatoes in a tea towel (or paper towels) until very dry.
2. For Lightness: Separate the eggs; glossy egg whites will make a lightened latke, with a meringue-type batter.
Serve the latkes with my favorite homemade applesauce (see recipe), and sour cream if desired.
For a Gluten-Free version, simply use a all-purpose gluten free flour blend in place of the flour for great results.
The festival Chanukah starts this year at sundown on Sunday, December 6th and last for eight days.
A little history – In European and Middle Eastern countries, potato pancakes are cooked in first-pressed extra virgin olive oil.