Curious about the connection between Hanukkah and latkes? Latke is the Yiddish word for pancakes. The latke draws its origin from the Ukrainian potato pancake. It is the dish most associated with Hanukkah in the United States since foods fried in oil have symbolic meaning for the holiday. This recipe makes a lacy potato pancake as long as the matzoh meal is used sparingly.
- 1 large yellow onion
- 2 1/2 pound Yukon Gold or other golden potatoes, scrubbed but unpeeled
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons matzoh meal or potato flour, plus more if needed
- Canola oil, as needed for frying
Peel onion and cut it in half, then cut each half into eighths. Place onion pieces in the bowl of a food processor and pulse into a medium to fine dice. Remove onion to a large bowl. Immediately run potatoes through the grating wheel on the food processor, and mix potatoes into the onions. (Alternatively, finely dice onions and grate potatoes by hand with a box grater.)
Using your fingers, pick up small amounts of potato mixture by the handful and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Reserve all liquid and allow it to settle in a bowl for a few minutes. Put pressed potato and onion mixture in a clean bowl. Carefully pour off watery part of the reserved liquid but do not discard the thick starchy sediment at the bottom of the bowl. Scrape that into potato mixture.
In a small bowl mix eggs, salt and pepper and combine with potato mixture. Add matzoh meal to batter, starting with 3 tablespoons and adding more if necessary until potato mixture has enough body to stick together.
Preheat the oven to 200°F. Heat a 1/2-inch depth of oil in a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron. Form potato mixture into pancakes of approximately 3 inches in diameter and drop into oil, taking care not to crowd pancakes. Fry, turning once, until golden on both sides for a total of about 6 minutes. Drain on clean brown paper bags. Transfer the finished pancakes to a baking sheet in the oven to keep warm.
Note: Potato latkes can be frozen. After completely cooking pancakes, place on a cookie sheet and freeze, then store in a container. When ready to use, reheat in a 400°F oven for about 10 minutes.
Note: We've provided special diet and nutritional information for educational purposes. But remember — we're cooks, not doctors! You should follow the advice of your health-care provider. And since product formulations change, check product labels for the most recent ingredient information. See our Terms of Service.