Rebecca Angel Baer
Yield:
Makes 30 potato latkes.

Hanukkah is the Jewish holiday also called, The Festival of Lights. During the eight-night celebration, Jewish families all around the world light candles in menorahs and eat fried foods to honor the story of how Judah and the Macabees defended the Jewish people and the Temple and how the oil that should have only lit the Temple for one night lasted for eight miraculous nights. One of the foods most commonly eaten to pay homage to that miracle oil is the potato latke. Southern Living’s News Editor is sharing her family recipe, passed down from generation to generation, for potato latkes.

Many make latkes by shredding the potato and the onion so they closely resemble a fritter. But in this recipe, the method is different. The potato, onion, egg, and flour are blended to make a thick batter. The result is a delicious, golden brown treat that is crunchy on the outside and soft, fluffy, and delicious on the inside! Most serve with apple sauce or sour cream.

How to Make It

Step 1

Peel your potatoes and put into a bowl of ice water.

Step 2

Fill large skillet with oil until it’s about a 1/3 of an inch-deep turn to medium/high heat when you have about half of the mixture done in the food processor. You will turn this heat down as you cook because if it’s too hot, the latkes will fall apart.

Step 3

Before you put the potatoes into the food processor, put them down on a clean kitchen towel and blot the water out. This keeps the mixture from getting excess water and keeping the batter thick.

Step 4

Add potatoes, onion, eggs, salt, flour, baking powder into the food processor and mix until you have a thick batter. No potato chunks. Add a dash or two of lemon juice now to keep your mix from turning grey. That will make your potato latkes grey!

Step 5

You will need to add your ingredients in batches until all is blended smoothly. When you remove the canister of your food processor to transport to be near the stovetop, put a plate under it or your batter could leak out and make a mess.

Step 6

To determine if the oil is hot enough, add one tester latke. Watch this one and you will see when it is hot enough to really start frying. The latke is ready to flip when the edges start to brown. So once this has happened to the first tester, you can start adding more. It depends on how wide your pan is but generally, four can cook at one time.

Step 7

To ensure an even latke every time, drop batter into the oil slowly and keep the spoon in until the entire latke has dropped into the oil.

Step 8

Once you’ve flipped, the other side will cook in about the same amount of time. Leave it to fry, do not mash down w/ the spatula. And when you see the brown forming again around the edge, lift out of the oil with a spatula and place on the paper towels to drain.

Serve hot or freeze following the steps below.

Step 9

How to Freeze:

After the latkes come out of the hot oil, place onto the makeshift three-layer drying surface: newspaper topped with brown paper grocery bags topped with paper towels. Let the excess oil drain off and the latkes to cool.

Step 10

When they are cool, place onto a cookie sheet in one layer. Stick the cookie sheet into the freezer for about 15 minutes and they will freeze.

Step 11

Remove from freezer and transfer from cookie sheet to gallon-sized freezer bag, carefully to keep them from sticking together or breaking apart. Count as you go. Repeat this process until the bag is full. Write the number of latkes in the bag on the outside and place gently into the freezer.

Step 12

To Reheat:

When it’s time for your Hanukkah dinner, preheat an oven to as hot as it will go—450/500 will work.

Step 13

Pull your frozen latkes out and place them on a cookie sheet in a single layer and place in the oven. Then you just have to watch them. It should only take 5-10 minutes to heat up but they can burn in a snap. When you pull them out of the oven, the oil will have released and crisped up the edges.

Step 14

Place on a flat platter serve. Your guests will never know they didn’t come straight from the frying pan! Most serve with applesauce or sour cream.