I made latkes. And they were so delicious that I ate 5 and had flashbacks of the Reibkuchen that I devoured at Aachen’s Christmas market.
So I’ll share this recipe and tell you why I think it’s the best one I’ve found so far. Basically, a latke is a potato pancake made from shredded potato and a bit of onion. Throw in an egg or two and some flour to hold it together, fry it in oil, and you have something to inhale hot and beg for another, or at least that’s the way it works in my house.
Every year I do a quick search for a latke recipe, because they really are nearly all the same, and every year they turn out good.
This year I tried a recipe from Saveur. It was the first time ever that I’ve used matzo meal in my latkes and it was amazing. Truly, it’s a game-changer, so I’ll thank Bubbe now and go and order her cookbook. Her recipe is what I’m thankful for on this first night of Hanukkah and the eve of Thanksgiving – a special, rare moment we call “Thanksgivikkah.”
On one burner I cooked latkes and on another I had home made apple sauce simmering. The sour cream, another traditional topping, was brought out last. And my youngest, when I thought she was completely stuffed, asked, “can I have another vodka?” She meant latke, of course, and another she ate… and another, and another… in fact, she kept sneaking them from the freezer after I’d put them away. Next time I’ll use 12 potatoes and this recipe. Thank you, Bubbe.
5 large potatoes (I used 8 medium-large)
1 small onion
2 large eggs lightly beaten (I used 4)
1 tsp. salt or to your taste
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup white flour or matzo meal (I used both packets in a box of Streit’s Matzo Meal)
Vegetable or olive oil, for frying (totally olive)
1.Grate the raw potatoes alternately with the onion into a large bowl, or cut the raw potatoes and onions into small chunks and process them in a blender or a food processor. Do not remove the liquid from the potatoes. Mix in the eggs, salt, pepper, and flour or matzo meal. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes to thicken a little bit. In a large frying pan, heat oil, 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep, over medium high heat until it is hot, but not smoking. (I used closer to the 1/8″ of oil)
2. To form each latke, use a large spoon to transfer some the potato mixture to the pan. Fry the latkes until they are well browned on both sides and crisp around the edges. Drain them on paper towels. Latkes can be served immediately or kept warm in the oven at 250º. Serve with applesauce and sour cream. (I drop a bit of the potatoe mixture and then smooth it flat with the back of the spoon to make a flat pancake shape.)
Note: They can also be frozen between layers of aluminum foil. To reheat, place the frozen latkes in a single layer on a baking sheet in a 400º pre-heated oven for 5 to 6 minutes, until they are crispy around the edges.