I'm probably the worst half-Jew in America. I actually had to Google "Hannukah" to a) make sure I spelled it right and b) find out when it actually starts. Holy Moses it's tonight!! You know what that means! Yes, time for some recipes for potato latkes!! I honestly don't know why or how latkes became one of those dishes that I only eat once a year; I could eat them every day. One time I made them small (about 2 inches wide) and topped them with smoked salmon and a dollop of chive sour cream – it was a perfect appetizer! Technically, you could do the same in a traditional way: make them small, top them with apple sauce and sour cream and there you have a nice party appetizer. However, if you're a traditional Jew, a pretending Jew, or a lonely Jew on Christmas, here is a simple, classic recipe for latkes. Enjoy!
4 large potatoes, shredded (Russett or Idaho works best, and I think doing it by hand is better than a food processor)
2 large eggs (beaten)
1 medium onion, grated
2-3 tablespoons matzoh meal (some people use flour – these people are not Jewish)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Vegetable oil and butter for frying
Applesauce and sour cream for serving (optional – but not really – it amps up the deliciousness)
1. Grate the onion first, because after you grate the potatoes, you will need to work with them quickly or else they will brown and start to oxidize. After all the potatoes are grated, place them in a large dish towel or cheesecloth and strain out as much moisture as possible. We want CRISPY latkes, not soggy ones; soggy latkes makes for an unhappy Hanukkah Harry (we really need a new mascot).
2. In a medium bowl, mix the potatoes, eggs, onion, matzoh meal and salt together until well combined. I recommend using your hands, but dont overmix.
Key: Very hot oil and butter. Be careful. No burns on Hannukah.
3. Drop in by the tablespoon and fry until golden brown on one side, then flip to fry the other side. Drain on paper towels and serve asap. They are best right out of the frying pan and sprinkled with a dash more salt. Kosher salt, of course. And as always, applesauce and sour cream are good friends of the latkes.