For those of you celebrating Hanukkah this year, we thought we’d share a Farmers Market Finds favorite recipe for Potato Latkes! It’s traditional to eat certain foods at Hanukkah. These special dishes do more than make for a delicious feast, they serve as reminders of the holiday and are a great way to educate and honor Jewish history.
Latke is the Yiddish word for pancake and potato latkes are a favorite Hanukkah food. Made from grated potatoes, chopped onions, eggs and flour and often served with applesauce or sour cream, latkes make a great side dish. A bit labor intensive this is a fun recipe to get the family involved in the prep. Peeling and grating is an easier job if shared and frying will take some time. So enjoy the prep work and be prepared, appetites are typically bigger than the number of latkes this recipe makes. So save some for a quick snack or lunch throughout the week!
- 5 medium sized potatoes
- 1 small onion
- 1/2 to 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 2 eggs
- vegetable oil
- Peel the Potatoes. If you are not going to use them right away, put them in a bowl and cover them with cold water.
- Grate the Potatoes into a Bowl. It really doesn’t matter which holes of the grater you use. Some people think larger ones are the only ones that will do the job, since they produce crunchier latkes. Others insist on using medium size holes for smoother latkes. This is up to you. Just be careful and watch you knuckles, especially when you get near the end of the potato!
- Grate the Onion into the Same Bowl. Peel the skin off first 🙂
- Get Rid of the Liquid. This is important! With clean hands, press down on the potatoes to squeeze out the excess liquid. Then drain or pour the liquid out to make sure you don’t wind up with watery latkes!
- Beat the Eggs in a Separate Bowl. Then add them to the potato/onion mixture.
- Add Flour, Salt and Pepper. Mix well.
- Turn the Oven to 250°. This is so you can keep the first latkes you fry warm while cooking the rest.
- Pour Vegetable Oil in Large Frying Pan. You will want to use enough oil so it’s about 1/4″ deep. Heat the oil to keep it hot at medium heat.
- Put a Tablespoon of the Batter into the Oil. Be sure to press it with a slotted pancake turner so it looks like a thin pancake. Do as many as the pan will hold.
- Only Turn Latke Once! You can tell when they are ready to turn because the edges get brown. You should cook latkes so they’re golden brown and crisp on each side. As they’re done, put them in a shallow pan lined with some paper towels and keep them warm in the oven.
Helpful Hints: As you’re frying the latkes, be sure to check the oil level and add more if you need to keep it up to 1/4″ deep. When you add the extra oil be sure to let it heat up before adding more batter. Also as the batter is sitting and waiting to be cooked into latkes it will start to collect liquid at the bottom. No need to drain this off. Just give it a stir from time to time.
FUN FACT: The custom of eating latkes did not start in the time of the Maccabees and the great fight to save the Temple back in 168 B.C.E. In fact, the Maccabees would never have even heard of potatoes! Although potatoes grew wild in South America, they never left that part of the world until the 1500’s when a Spanish explorer brought them to Europe. Jews living in Europe began to make potato latkes in the 1600’s, cooking this common food in oil to symbolize the oil that lit the holy Temple for 8 long days centuries ago!
Happy Hanukkah from all of us at Farmers Market Finds!