Latkes, or potato pancakes, are a favorite Hanukkah tradition. It is believed this is derived from the desire of Jews to eat food drenched in oil, to commemorate the miracle of the oil. In the United States, this is the most common tradition. They are best eaten right out of the frying pan, along with a little applesauce or sour cream on top.
This is our go-to recipe, which was handed down to us by a Rabbi’s wife, named Sandy, while visiting Maryland many years ago. Sandy’s magic ingredient is frozen shredded hash browns, which add texture and ensure the latkes fry up to a perfect golden brown.
They’re so good that they’ll disappear off the plate faster than you can fry them up! Keep reading for the recipe.
SANDY’S SECRET LATKE RECIPE
The recipe is easily multiplied to feed a crowd
- 2 onions
- 3-6 Russet potatoes
- 2 16 oz packages frozen shredded hash browns (like Cascadian Farms Organic)
- 4 eggs or 1 cup egg substitute (like Reddi-egg)
- Salt, pepper & garlic powder, to taste
- Canola oil
- Applesauce and sour cream, for serving
Grate (not puree) onions and potatoes in the food processor, as in most recipes. Then add two packages of frozen hash browns (the magic ingredient!). Finally, add egg or egg substitute and season with salt, pepper & garlic powder to taste. Mix in a big bowl with bare hand.
Use a cast iron skillet, 1/2 filled with canola oil. Heat on medium until a few drips of water cause it to crackle and spit water.
Add mix with a wok ladle or larger spoon than a tablespoon. Cook until brown. It’s best if you turn them over half way into the deep frying. Note: It’s similar to fish and chip style of deep frying, as the latkes tend to float near being done.
Serve hot with applesauce and sour cream.