Here at Pacific Merchants we love the holidays, and we’re pretty equal opportunity when it comes to celebrating. Why? Because we’re a pretty diverse group and learning about each others’ customs is a blast. So we figured, before we dig in on Christmas-mania, early December would be a good time to share our favorite Hanukkah recipe: a simple recipe for latkes that is beyond delicious. Plus, we’ve scoured the net for some other delicious variations on potato pancakes. Because nothing says good times like fried carbs, fascinating traditions, bright lights, miraculously efficient oil lamps, and great friends.
I’m sure you know that latkes are traditionally served at Hanukkah, but I’ve served them at parties all year long. When made on the smaller side and topped with a bit of sour cream and a slice of smoked salmon, you’ve got a beautiful, and totally crowd-pleasing appetizer. Some other favorite toppings include: Traditional sour cream and applesauce, brie and cranberry sauce, sour cream and bacon (clearly not for those who keep kosher,) fried eggs and chives, and even peanut butter and jelly. I’ve occasionally even used hem in place of an English muffin in eggs Benedict. SO good. But suppose you want to keep it traditional and serve latkes for Hanukkah? Well, first, when is Hannukah? Unlike Christmas, it changes every year. Hanukkah 2014 is December 16-December 24. Now that you know the dates, it’s as easy as whipping up a batch of these tasty treats.
- 1 1/2 Pounds of Russet potatoes
- 1 small white or yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
- 2 Large Eggs
- 2+ Tablespoons of flour (you can sub out matzoh meal for Passover or coconut flour to make it gluten free.)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Oil, chicken fat, or butter for frying. I’d suggest bacon fat, but that’s not kosher.
- Peel your potatoes and your onion. Either in a food processor or by hand with a box grater, grate your potatoes. If you’re using a box grater, be wary of your knuckles. I wasn’t, and I regretted it.
- Line a wire mesh strainer with cheesecloth or a clean dishtowel. Put all your potato and onion mixture into the dishtowel.
- Twist the cloth to squeeze moisture from the potato mixture, and let sit for 15 minutes to drain.
- Transfer the drained potatoes into a bowl and add the garlic, eggs, 2 Tablespoons of flour, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. If the mixture seems too wet, add more flour (you can always do this after cooking a test latke.)
- Latkes are best when eaten fresh, so about 14 mintues before you’re ready to eat, pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees, and heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add about 1/4 inch of oil to your skillet.
- Drop heaping spoonfuls of the mixture into the oil. It should spread out, so leave room between latkes.
- Cook the potato pancakes 3-4 minutes on each side. Both sides should be golden and crisp.
- Eat right away or keep warm in the oven.
There you have it – a delicious treat for the eight nights of Hanukkah in eight easy steps. Now that you know how to make potato pancakes from scratch, something tells me you’re going to be doing it all year. It’s super-easy, after all, and incredibly delicious. But let’s just say you wanna try a different recipe. . .
These sweet potato latkes are from our blog – we posted them last year when looking for a sweet potato recipe for Thanksgiving, which just happened to fall on the first night of Hanukkah.
These rainbow latkes from What Jew Wanna Eat – Not only are they incredibly fun to look at, but they’re a great way to get an extra serving of veggies in. Each one is made from different produce, and is naturally colorful.
These Gluten Free Carrot Scallion Latkes from Elana’s Pantry. We love that Elana thought to make a paleo-friendly version of a latke, and we love the way the scallions and carrots taste together. A perfect combination!
These super-flavorful Zucchini and Green Garlic Latkes from Sassy Radish – I’m a little obsessed with green garlic, and I always seem to have a surplus of zucchini, so to me, this is the perfect latke recipe.
Have a happy Hannukah, Friends. I hope you enjoy it!