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Happy Hanukkah! Here’s The Absolute Best Latke Recipe

Happy Hanukkah!

Hanukkah began at sundown on December 2nd last week. Many of us celebrated the start of the holiday by lighting candles for eight days and consuming fried foods. Lots of fried foods. Latkes are deceptively simple. For a basic, classic latke is just potatoes, onions, flour, eggs, and oil. Some of us commemorate the holiday by making latkes each evening until the 10th. And why not? I think that allows plenty of nights to experiment with different ingredients to figure out the perfect latke to your tastes. What I love most is a very herb-heavy latke. Rosemary, Thyme, Dill, Basil. You name it, and if you have it, use it. Fresh herbs add a lot of bite to this classic dish.

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My latke motto? Eyeball everything. Use whatever herb you have on hand or pick whichever is in season from the garden. Don’t run out to the grocery store if you’re missing an ingredient. Don’t use an unnecessary measuring cup or measuring spoons or any of that. It only adds to the clean-up and when you have friends and family over the last thing you want to be doing is the dishes. Keep things simple. Your grocery store was out of parsnips? Skip ’em! We’re talking a dressed up potato pancake after all.

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These latkes offer the ultimate in holiday comfort foods and will have you and your guests swooning for more.

Ingredients: (for about 12-16 latkes)
4 russet potatoes
2 large or 3 medium parsnips
1 White Onion
1 flat leaf parsley bunch, finely chopped
Rosemary, Sage, Dill, or your herb of choice
4 whole eggs
Corn flour or all purpose flour
Salt & black pepper to season
Canola Oil
Sour cream to serve

Directions:

Fill a large bowl with cold water. Peel the potatoes, and grate them using a hand grater. Of, if you have a food processor, use that. But, for some, the labor intensive preparation of the latke adds to the joy of eating them once they’re finished. To each their own.

Add the grated potato to a strainer and rinse with cold water to remove the starch. Drain and put the potato shreds in a clean towel or several paper towels and try to suck up as much water as possible. This is a very important step. You want the potato shreds as dry as can be so they fry better.

Peel and grate the parsnip. Finely chop the white onion. Chop the parsley. Chop a few sprigs of rosemary (my favorite choice, but use whatever herb you have on hand). Add all to a large bowl.

Next, add the grated potato to the bowl. Crack the four eggs on top and mix well. Some people using only egg whites, and that’s not a bad idea if this is your tenth day of latkes. But the whole egg is ideal. Add several pinches of salt and pepper to your liking. Once all has been combined, it’s time to use your hands. Add about a cup of corn flour or all purpose flower and knead the mixture into what is essentially a dough. You want just enough flour to guarantee the mixture all holds together when you begin to form small balls.

Now, take about a one to two inch in diameter sized ball of your latke mixture and squeeze it all together. Make a ball, not a pancake. However counter-intuitive that may seem, trust me.

Heat a cast iron skillet or whatever frying pan you have with plenty of canola or corn oil. You want about a quarter-inch of oil in the pan.

Pour plenty of canola oil into your frying device. (Don’t use olive oil if you can help. Your latkes will still be good fried in olive oil, but will lack that crispiness we’re after due to olive oil’s low smoke point) You should have about a quarter-inch of oil in the frying pan.

Place several balls on the hot pan and flatten them using the back of a spatula. You don’t want to overcrowd them, but you do want to make sure each of your guests will be able to get their hands on a hot, crispy latke from the first batch. So for your first batch cook, take a head count and cook as many latkes as guests you have at your home.

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Cook until golden brown and crispy on the bottom ( about3 mins), then flip over and brown the other side.

Once finished, arrange the latkes on a paper towel and squeeze out any excess oil. Serve with sour cream and a spiced apple-pear sauce. If made right, these latkes are great for dipping, but feel free to serve on plates with a spoonful of the sour cream or apple-pear sauce on top. I also like to drizzle some chopped dill, chopped parsley, or chopped chives to green the latkes up a bit.

Latkes are the most iconic Hanukkah dish for good reason. And these latkes are crispy on the outsides, but soft and flavorful on the inside.

What’s your go-to latke recipe?

Happy Holidays!

Jacqui

Jacqueline Tager | CalBre#: 1476997
jacqueline.tager@sothebyshomes | (323) 697-3040
Sotheby’s International Realty – Los Feliz Brokerage
1801 N Hillhurst Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90027

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