Have you ever heard the best recipes are dead simple? Well, sometimes it’s true, especially when it comes to the food we used to love when kids.
We didn’t make latkes at home while growing up, but a friend always invited me when her grandmother cooked them. It comes without saying I made them part of my own traditions!
The Hanukkah specialty is more than a potato pancake; it’s crispy but moist and beautifully seasoned. It’s one of those uncomplicated dishes you can’t have enough off.
So, when I decided to put together a recipe for latkes, I kept them simple, just like I remember them.
There are two schools of thought for these fried goodies. Some people use grated potatoes, and others use puréed potatoes. I grate mine and pulse them in the food processor with garlic and onion to form a grainy and textural paste. Salt and pepper are all you need for these, as you want the crispy potato flavor to shine through.
You’ll need some eggs and flour to keep the batter together, which is also somewhat traditional, and don’t flatten the latkes before frying, flatten them in the pan with a spatula. They’re crispier that way.
And here’s another tip. Most people make the potato dough and drain it by pressing it with a kitchen towel to remove the excess moisture. I’ve discovered you can pat dry the grated potatoes before combining them with other ingredients for similar results. Grate, pat dry, pulse, mix and fry. That’s how I make latkes; you should try it!
Finally, serve these latkes with sour cream and garnish them with chopped chives for some color. These aren’t, by all means, traditional, but they’re still delicious memories of childhood. After all, the authentic latke recipe has evolved since at least the Middle Ages when they didn’t even know about potatoes; recipes are alive!
Grate the potatoes with a box grater into ribbons. Pat dry with a paper towel and set aside.
In a food processor, pulse the potatoes with the garlic and the onion until roughly chopped.
Pour the potato mixture into a mixing bowl and incorporate the eggs and flour. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a skillet with 1/2 inch of cooking oil, scoop the potato mixture and press to flatten. Do not overcrowd the pan. Flip once after 4-5 minutes and cook until golden on the other side. Set aside on paper towels to extract the extra oil.
Serve with sour cream.