Latkes are a traditional Jewish food that are typically made to enjoy with family while celebrating Hannukah. Hannukah is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem where according to legend, the Israelites rose up against the Greek-Syrians.
After their victory reclaiming the temple, the Israelites lit a menorah (a nine-pronged candelabra) but they didn’t have enough oil to last the entire eight days of the celebration. However, a miracle occurred when the small amount of oil lasted eight days.
Now on Hannukah, Jewish people celebrate this miracle by eating fried foods, playing dreidel, lighting the menorah and oftentimes exchanging gifts.
Latkes are a staple of any Hannukah celebration and regardless of whether you celebrate Hannukah or not, they’re absolutely delicious!
Crispy Potato Latkes
2 pounds russet potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed, and cut into large chunks
1 onion, peeled, cut into large pieces
1 cup matzo meal
Salt and pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1. Using a food processor with the shredding blade, shred the potatoes and onion. Place half of the shredded mixture in the middle of a dish towel, gather the four corners together, and twist over a sink to squeeze the water out of the mixture. Place in a dry bowl and repeat with remaining mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and mix in matzo meal and the eggs.
2. Set a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet and cover with three layers of paper towels. Heat 1/4-inch of oil in a large skillet over medium heat until simmering but not smoking. Place 1/4-cup of the potato mixture in the skillet and press down with a spatula until 1/3-inch thick. Repeat as room permits in the skillet. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until the second side is golden brown, about 3 more minutes. Transfer to the baking sheet. Cooked latkes can be kept warm in a 200-degree oven while remaining latkes are prepared.
3. Repeat with remaining potato mixture, adding oil as necessary to maintain 1/4-inch depth in the skillet, and adding matzo meal to the potato mixture bowl if liquid begins to accumulate at the bottom.
4. Season cooked latkes with additional salt and pepper to taste and serve with applesauce and sour cream on the side.