This Hanukkah treat is all about the frying. It represents the magic of the oil that lit the menorah (holy candelabra) for 8 days when there was only enough oil for 1 day. There is no dairy in this dish and by using gluten-free matzo meal it’s just like my mother made. I remember grinding 10 pounds of potatoes by hand with a meat grinder, luckily today I use a food processor. For the no egg, Vegan version, check out my other recipe.
Preparation Time: 20 -30 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes a pancake/batch
3 cups POTATOES, grated and drained well
About 8 medium Yukon Gold or Idaho 1 large ONION, grated 2 EGGS, beaten 1 teaspoon SALT 1/4 teaspoon BLACK PEPPER 2 tablespoons gluten-free MATZO MEAL 1/2 cup Vegan BUTTER or other light oil for frying Roll of PAPER TOWELS APPLESAUCE or Vegan SOUR CREAM, optional
- Using a fine or medium grater blade on your food processor,* GRATE the potatoes
- DRAIN the grated potatoes really well before continuing. I put the grated potatoes in a big wire strainer over a large bowl. I then place a plate over the mixture and press down gently to express the potato starch. Get rid of as much liquid as you can. Warning: potato starch is really messy.
- Using a medium grater blade on your food processor,* GRATE the onion (or finely chop if you prefer). Keep the onion juice and add to the mix for flavor.
- In a large bowl, ADD the onion to the drained potatoes and mix well
- BEAT the eggs and ADD to the onion/potato mixture
- STIR in the seasonings and matzo meal
- HEAT a small amount of the butter or oil in a large frying pan. Let it get hot
- SPOON (or I use my hands and make patties so I can squeeze out any excess liquid) the mixture into the frying pan and form pancakes. I usually get 6 to 8 pancakes in the pan at a time
- FLATTEN the pancakes with a spatula
- FRY each pancake for about 5 minutes over medium heat, then turn over until nicely browned on both sides. (I like my latkes dark and crisp, but my spouse likes them undercooked, so it’s up to your taste how long you fry)
- Layer paper towels on a plate or cookie sheet and place the cooked latkes on the paper towels to DRAIN. I make so many that I build a tower of draining latkes in paper towel tiers
- Add more butter or oil as required to fry the next batch
- Serve hot with applesauce or vegan sour cream
*To make latkes without a food processor, just grate the potatoes manually, chop the onions as finely as possible (or grate them too) and follow the rest of the instructions above.
This recipe was inspired by Jennie Grossinger from “The Art Of Jewish Cooking,” personally autographed to my mother in 1958 by Jennie.