Hannukah (Latkes)

Yes, the festival of lights is upon us once again.  And as one of the many non-religious jews in the world, let me just say, “Hooray for Latkes.”  Hannukah actually is a great holiday for us non-believers, because its based on actual historical events rather than something make believe (I hope my bubbi isn’t reading this blog).  And best of all, it is celebrated by frying potatoes in oil.

Before I get to the recipe and latke pics, since some of my readers are people who know me in real life, I just wanted to post this picture of my beautiful sister, Jade with the following note: Growing up, would you ever have believed that she’d be the one with pink hair and I wouldn’t even use hairspray?

Happy Hannukah everyone!

Latkes, or potato pancakes (but not like the german kind), are one of my top 10 favorite foods.  On my previous post about carrots, Sarina asked if I had a recipe for latkes, and the answer, of course, is “yes, I do.”  Its pretty simple, and I will note that although potato latkes are good enough for me, you can also grate in carrots (seen in the picture above), zucchini, apple, sweet potato, or pretty much any other root vegetable you want.  Here is the basic recipe I use.

Potato Latkes

  • 5 medium-size potatoes, shredded on the coarse side of a box grater, water pressed out using a dish towel
  • 2 Tbps dried onions (don’t use fresh onions for this, you want to try to not have too much moisture)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp pepper
  • peanut oil for frying
  1. In a big fry pan or skillet, heat enough peanut oil to generously cover the bottom of the pan over medium-high heat.  You want the oil to get hot, so it gets brown and crispy and doesn’t soak up too much oil, but not so hot that the latkes turn black.
  2. After the shredded potatoes have been adequately pressed to get rid of as much water as possible, mix all the ingredients in a bowl
  3. Using an ice cream scoop, drop some of the mix into hot oil, and sort of flatten it and spread it out – “keep it loose” is the idea, you don’t want a packed-in thick pancake.  You also want to keep the oil hot, so don’t crowd the pan – 2 or 3 latkes per pan should be the max in a 9-10 inch pan.
  4. Fry for 2-3 minutes, then flip and fry the other side until both sides are golden brown and the pancake has crisped
  5. Dry on brown paper bags
  6. Serve hot with homemade applesauce or sour cream

If you have to make them in advance, you can reheat them at 400F for like 5 minutes or so.

Last night, BD and I went to my grandmother’s house to celebrate, and although we abstained from the brisket, we did manage to fill ourselves with lots of goodies.

Latkes, Applesauce, Orange-Maple Seitan, Carrots, Green Beans, and Asian Slaw… followed by a hearty dessert plate of ginger snaps and pie…. heck yeah holiday dinner!

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1 Response to “Hannukah (Latkes)”


  1. 1 Claudia December 15, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Even before you mentioned it I noticed what a great picture that is of your sister! (And Uncle Adam’s tie-dye in the background) I ❤ your fam!


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