I love potatoes in any form, but I think I love potato latkes most of all. After all, how can anyone resist a well-made latke? The lacy-crisp edges alone are the stuff that haunts my dreams, and they hardly make it out of the skillet before they’re salted and served with my favorite sour cream and apple sauce.
I’ve made many latke recipes during my time as a culinary professional, but more importantly, I’ve come to appreciate their symbolism and significance at the Hanukkah table by making them for and with my extended Jewish family. Nothing beats being in a noisy kitchen trying to hear the lists of tips, tricks, and advice families like to share to successfully fry-up the ultimate potato latke. From the type of potato used, how to grate them, the amount of onion added, to schmaltz or not to schmaltz, and so on.
Before sharing three of my favorite latke recipes from the Fine Cooking archives, I’d like to share a humorous moment from making latkes with a Jewish colleague a few years ago.
We were testing two similar latke recipes to compare techniques. The recipe I was testing called for the potatoes to be grated with a food processor, and her recipe called for grating the potatoes using the large holes of a box grater. After nicking herself several times on the shredding blades, and after a few creative expletives, she turned to me without missing a beat and said, “As my Bubbe would always say, ‘There’s a little bit of me in every latke I make!'”
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What are some of your favorite recipes, tips, or advice for making the perfect latkes? Let me know in the comments below!
Giving credit where credit is due:
- Food Styling: Ronne Day, Jerrie-Joy Redman-Lloyd
- Photography: Scott Philips
- Photography: Featured Latke Image: Manfred Richter. Potato Image: Jürgen