Recipes, Appetizers & Snacks

How to Make Perfect, Simple, Crispy Latkes

There are few things in this world that I enjoy eating more than the simple latkes recipe.  There are few ingredients, they’re easy to make, and are just the epitome of comfort food.  While my background is Italian I’ve always taken an interest in traditional Jewish cuisine, and outside of matzo ball soup, latkes are one of my favorites. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah or not, this homemade latkes recipe is a must make and something I’ve been cooking up the last 4 years come holiday season.

Latkes, or potato pancakes, consist of potatoes, onions, baking powder, eggs, matzo meal, salt and pepper, and that’s it. It only takes seven ingredients to make something so delicious, plus you get to add on tasty toppings to customize your latkes to your liking.

One of my buddies from culinary school, who may be the best chef I know, always used to say that “simplicity is elegant,” and honestly, that’s exactly what this is. Latkes are the perfect recipe to start a tradition in your home, not only from a food standpoint, but it's also a chance to dig into the past and learn more about another culture you may not be familiar with. When it comes to food, it’s incredibly important to me to expose my family to as many ethnic foods as possible, and if it’s got a lot of history to it then even better!

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When preparing latkes, you can either shred potatoes using a hand grater or run them through a food processor that has the grater attachment. It is incredibly important to rinse the starchiness off of the potatoes under cold water, and then dry them out as much as possible by squeezing them through a cheesecloth. Doing this helps to make it easy when forming them with the eggs and matzo meal. Other than that, it’s as simple as mixing together all of the ingredients and forming little patties.  

I kept it pretty traditional with the toppings by adding on sour cream with some chopped chives and a fresh dill sprig, and then spooning some homemade applesauce to the others.  I love them both equally because the flavor profiles are so different.  You get a much more savory taste with the sour cream and herbs and then a touch of sweetness from the applesauce one.  I suggest you make them and let me know which ones you like :)

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Try these latkes with our recipe for Homemade Applesauce!

Homemade Latkes Recipe

theinspiredhome.com
SERVINGS

16 latkes

PREP TIME

20 minutes

ACTIVE TIME

30 minutes

INGREDIENTS
  • 5 cups of shredded peeled russet potatoes, or about 3 large ones
  • ½ peeled shredded yellow onion
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of matzo meal
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • Grape seed oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoons of schmaltz for frying
  • Optional toppings: applesauce, sour cream, chopped chives, fresh dill
DIRECTIONS
  1. Add the potatoes to a large bowl and rinse well under cold water.  Transfer the shredded potatoes onto a large piece of cheesecloth and squeeze as much liquid out as possible.
  2. Add the potatoes back to the bowl and mix them with the onions, baking powder, eggs, matzo meal, salt and pepper until combined. 
  3. Make 16 individual patties and place them on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper.
  4. Next, add the oil and schmaltz to a medium size frying pan over medium heat and cook the latkes until they are golden brown on each side and cooked throughout, about 4-5 minutes per side.
  5. Drain the latkes and then serve them hot with optional garnishes.

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