I have an Irish Catholic partner that is obsessed with latkes. We’ve had latkes for dinner twice this week, once last week, and one other time this month. We have leftovers for breakfast and lunch, and a new bag of potatoes always seems to make its way into my kitchen.
It’s Hanukkah, so I figured now is a perfect time to share my simple, traditional latke recipe for those curious Irish Catholics whom have never tried this potato pancake—a pancake filled with history, tradition, spirit, and, of course, fat.
First, to get into the “spirit,” I urge you to watch this parody video of a not-so-good pop song that has recently gone viral. It played loudly while we made latkes tonight, and I have to say, I was tempted to “flip my latke in the air.”
I have to put a disclaimer on this recipe. I have not tried to make this healthy. Unlike my usual dishes, this one does not substitute wheat flour for white, does not omit egg, does not use soy instead of sour cream, and does use a lot of canola oil. It’s a killer, I know. But it’s for tradition, right? Oh so tasty tradition.
In addition to the history of latkes (and the history of Hanukkah for that matter), latkes have a history in my home. Latkes have always been that meal that everyone in the family—mom, dad, brother, dog—contributes to. It happened once a year while I was young (with maybe a sneaky “faux-Hanukkah” in July), and it was always a meal that could not go wrong. So when my partner, Jeremy, got hooked on latkes during a recent visit to my brother’s, I knew he’d be welcomed into the family. And I knew our once-a-year tradition would start transcending time.
You will need: Potatoes, Onion, Sour Cream, Flour, Pepper, Salt, Breadcrumbs, Canola Oil.
Here’s how I do it:
I have used Russet and Yukon Gold potatoes, and I like both. If you’re too indecisive to make that decision on your own, go with Yukon (because they’re pretty).
Plan on using three medium-sized potatoes per person. (First timers will eat until sick. All others will want leftovers). Use the following recipe to feed 3-4.
Throw your potatoes and 1 onion into your food processor. If you don’t have a processor, abort now and make some pasta.
Squeeze and drain your potatoes/onion until all excess moisture is gone.
In a bowl, immediately add 2-3 tablespoons of sour cream to your potatoes. This will ensure they will not brown. Then, add about 1/3 cup of flour, salt and pepper, one egg, and ½ cup of breadcrumbs. Note: All of these measurements will vary slightly. If it seems too wet to make patties, add more breadcrumbs.
Mix well, form patties, and place in heated canola oil (medium heat). If you use olive oil, they will burn.
Once golden brown, flip.
I always put a towel (or paper towels) on a baking sheet and let the latkes lose some of the oil before serving.
Latkes are traditionally served with sour cream and apple sauce. (Homemade applesauce is highly recommended).
Although I’m going to have to cut Jeremy off from his weekly indulgence of latkes, it certainly is nice to spread some tradition, especially since I’m not so much a traditional gal.