Happy Hanukkah: For the Love of Latkes!

Happy Hanukkah: For the Love of Latkes!

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Try these 6 great latke recipes

We hope that you'll have as much fun with these latke recipes as we have, in the spirit of the holiday. There are, of course, no-frills, straightforward latke recipes, as well as some interesting variations, including Wolfgang Puck's take on tradition with the extravagant addition of smoked sturgeon and osetra caviar, or chef Nikki Cascone's slightly healthier version with sweet potatoes. Whatever you decide to fry up, just remember to keep plenty of sour cream and applesauce on hand.

Click here to see The History of Hannukah Foods with Historian and Rabbi Gil Marks.

Perfect Potato Latkes

There are many different ways to make latkes, but after many attempts, this recipe seems to be the best...

Cheese Pancakes: The Original Latkes

Latkes originally derived from Italian ricotta pancakes and became part of the Hanukkah culinary tradition...

Sweet Potato Latkes with Lime Crème Fraîche

Latkes usually aren't very healthy, but chef Nikki Cascone uses sweet potatoes to make them a little healthier...

Giti's Potato Latkes

This family recipe was given to me by my boyfriend's mother who received it from a book club friend who, in turn, got it from her friend's longtime family recipe...

Potato Pancakes with Smoked Sturgeon

Wolfgang Puck keeps it classy with the addition of smoked sturgeon to a timeless tradition: potato pancakes...

Gil Marks' Homemade Potato Latkes

I make my latkes usually on the first night, to set the mood, and fry them up for the tradition and love of them...

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Have you always dreamed of a latke hotline where you could ask your Hanukkah cooking questions? Well, it’s here! This Hanukkah season you can actually TEXT US your cooking questions. Sign up here and The Nosher’s Shannon Sarna will answer any cooking, baking or entertaining questions you have.

Making crispy potato latkes is a skill every Jewish cook wants to master. It’s not a great secret – it just requires a few easy steps to ensure crispy, golden latkes every time. And we’ve got a short video to show you exactly how.

We also love topping our latkes with an array of delicious choices, from sweet to savory and from ordinary to extraordinary: homemade applesauce, cream cheese and smoked salmon, pulled brisket Israeli salad or even pastrami and mustard.

So get frying and get creative with those toppings.

What is Hanukkah? Chanukah? Hannukah? Channukah?

Hanukkah is the eight-night Jewish Festival of Lights, commemorating the rededication of the temple in 165 B.C. It is a celebration of the oil that miraculously lasted eight days (hence the length of the holiday) when they thought it would only last one.

The exact dates of Hannukah change because it is based on the Lunar calendar. Sometimes it overlaps Christmas and sometimes it starts a couple days after Thanksgiving. And as for the myriad spellings – it is a phonetic translation of a Hebrew word leaving it open for interpretation.

Happy Hanukkah: Forest Feast’s Latkes

I love December. I love the lights and the darkness. I love the holidays, and I love Hanukkah. I also love latkes, and I love playing with healthy ways to enjoy this holy comfort food. So I turned to an expert: Erin of the Forest Feast, whose latkes are gorgeous, inventive and so good I could make them all winter long. Here are two favorites courtesy of her blog.

Erin goes on to write, “Today is the first day of Hanukkah! It’s one of my favorite Jewish holidays because you get to light candles every night. Here’s a little round-up of favorite Forest Feast Hanukkah recipes: Cauliflower Potato Latkes, Sweet potato Latkes from The Forest Feast cookbook, Sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) and DIY Citrus Menorah.”

All Photos by Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast. Thanks, Erin!

May the eternal flame of peace always shine bright and
may you always light the world with the love in your heart!
Om Shanti! Om Shalom!

Have a Happy Chanukah and Enjoy These Latke Recipes and History!

Everyone at JamieGeller.com joins me in wishing you a Chag Chanukah Sameach! May your holiday be filled with light, happiness and delicious food!

Just for you, here&aposs a bit of history and then some inspired latkes. 

The Jewish holiday of Chanukah or Hanukkah (which means "dedication" in Hebrew) celebrates the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in 165 B.C.E. by the Maccabees, following a successful revolt against the Hellenist Syrians. Returning to the defiled Temple and facing the daunting task of restoring it to its former glory, the Jews found only enough pure oil to light the menorah for one day. Miraculously, the flame remained lit for eight days, just enough time to find more oil to maintain the fire.

While the historical and religious significance of Hanukkah are well-documented, the culinary history is less familiar. Until the Middle Ages, there is no mention of any specific Hanukkah foods. As the status of Hanukkah became elevated as a counterpoint to Christmas, Jews reclaimed the culinary roots of their holiday and treats such as sufagniyot (doughnuts) and potato latkes (potato pancakes) became an integral part of the Hanukkah tradition.

According to Jewish food historian Gil Marks, the original latkes were actually made from curd cheese. Over time, the combination of geography and poverty led European Jews to turn to the potato latke, frequently fried in schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) when olive oil was scarce, as a source of sustenance and symbolism.

I could happily eat traditional potato latkes for eight days and eight nights, following a recipe inspired by Joan Nathan, Traditional Potato Latkes, that always gets rave reviews. This year, I wanted to share eight recipes that are delightfully different and influenced by the cuisine of France, Italy, Japan, Spain, South America and American South. The recipes for Rosemary Mascarpone Potato Latkes and Cinnamon Apple Latkes were finalists in the �st Latke Ever!” 

The recipes below are intended to spark your imagination. I generally start with a traditional latke recipe, and then experiment with mix-ins and toppings. My kids love to help and I can keep them away from the frying pan while they mix the toppings. Although apple sauce and sour cream are common condiments, try a Romesco sauce – a sweet red pepper pesto-like sauce popular in Spain. You can mix sour cream with zataar or add hummus and pine nuts to give your latkes a Middle Eastern flair. For a pizza-riffic appetizer, try a crispy latke topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese – it is a fun treat kids and adults will fry for!

Latke Love for Hanukkah: Two Tasty Latke Recipes

Squeeze out as much water as you can before you add the eggs and other ingredients.

I t’s Hanukkah time again and for most of us that means latkes. This year, I came up with two new recipes that put a nice spin on the traditional holiday favorite: California latkes (made with veggies and topped with avocado) and Asian-inspired Teriyaki latkes. Yummy!

The California latke was inspired by my newfound appreciation for avocado. I have never been a big fan of the green fruit, not even guacamole, but I wasn’t going to give up on avocado just yet. These latkes have zucchini in them, which I have done before, so that part isn’t so new. But, I added a little baking powder to give these some lift and keep them light…as light as a latke can be anyway. I have to say that I am super happy with how they turned out and I will definitely be making it again. The avocado and tomato paired super well with the zucchini latke and these are great as a meal on their own. They were so good that when taste testing these I had to eat a couple of them…I didn’t really have a choice.

Simple ingredients make a delicious dish.

The Teriyaki latke is based in Asian flavors. The soy sauce and wasabi add some nice undertones and the panko breadcrumbs just seemed like the right addition. I went a little light on the wasabi in these, so not a lot of that spicy flavor came through in the end. The next time I make this one I will probably double the amount of wasabi, if not even more. However, this recipe stays true to the traditional latke profile with the potatoes and onions. When you add the teriyaki and green onions I think it brings out a little something and the whole thing screams to be paired with broiled salmon or chicken and some roasted veggies.

For both of these recipes I used russet potatoes, and as far as oil, you can use any oil you like to fry your latkes. Peanut oil works really well. It is super tasty and has a high smoke point…which means you can fry at a really hot temperature without burning the oil and smoking up your kitchen. However, there is the chance if you are bringing these to an event that someone will have peanut allergies, so I like to fry my latkes in good old canola oil. That avoids any peanut issues and I find that it works just fine. No one has ever turned down a second latke at my house! I add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. I fry in batches and add a little more in between if needed.

Latkes are really such a fun food because you can make them in hundreds of different ways. If you don’t want to try these latkes, maybe this will inspire you to come up with your own ideas. Hanukkah just wouldn’t be the same without latkes, but nothing says they have to be the same latkes every year.

California Latkes

  • 2 medium potatoes grated
  • 1 medium onion minced
  • 1 zucchini grated
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt & pepper
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 tomato sliced thin
  • 1 avocado sliced thin
  • Sour cream

Combine the onion, potatoes, and zucchini in a large bowl. Squeeze as much water out as you can and drain. Add the eggs, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Stir in the flour and baking powder. Drop the mixture into the pan by the large spoonful and spread out into a pancake shape. Fry until golden brown and then flip. Remove from the pan and rest on some paper towels while you fry the remaining latkes. When you are ready to serve, top with a slice of tomato, some avocado slices, and a dollop of sour cream.

Fry them until they are nice and golden brown.

Teriyaki Latkes

  • 3 medium potatoes grated
  • 1 medium onion minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp wasabi paste (or more if you like)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Oil for frying
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Green onions sliced

Combine the potatoes and onion in a large bowl. Squeeze as much water out as you can and drain. Add the eggs, soy sauce, and wasabi and stir to combine. Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Stir in the flour and bread crumbs. Drop the mixture into the pan by the large spoonful and spread out into a pancake shape. Fry until golden brown and then flip. Remove from the pan and rest on some paper towels while you fry the remaining latkes. When you are ready to serve, top with a little of your favorite teriyaki sauce and some green onions.

Hanukkah Potato Latkes Recipes

I once read many years ago, the only mitzvah that has increased among all the Jewish people was lighting candles on Hanukkah. I'm sure it was because in most Jewish homes, candle lighting is followed by jelly doughnuts or potato pancakes (latkes in Yiddish).

It is customary that we eat foods fried in oil on Chanukah because the oil symbolizes the miraculous burning of a small amount of pure oil in the Menorah for eight days in the Holy Temple until new oil was prepared for its use.

In my home in Schenectady, New York, my mother would grate the potatoes and prepare the batter for latkes every Hanukkah. It was a race to fry the potatoes before the mixture turned an ugly green. The other race was to make them fast enough to accumulate enough for a meal while everyone was visiting the kitchen to taste just one to see if they were any good. The latkes are still the high point of Chanukah for my family. It brings the family together and we sing and talk about the miracle. So I guess it is a good starting point.

Here are several good recipes for latkes. We would eat our latkes with maple syrup or salt or sour cream or apple sauce -- any combination, or nothing at all, or all of the above. Enjoy!

And Happy Hanukkah! -- Chef Herschel


6 potatoes
1 onion
4 eggs
3 tbsps. matza meal
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Grate by hand potatoes and onion. Add eggs and then dry ingredients. Fry in hot oil. Replace 2 of the potatoes with zucchini for lighter pancakes.

LATKES (POTATO PANCAKES) (from The Flavor of Jerusalem)

A favorite eaten at Hanukkah. Each cook has her infallible recipe, but we liked this version, which we found to be especially light.

3 large potatoes
3 tbsps. milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp. baking powder
salt and pepper to taste
cooking oil

If the skins of the potatoes are thin and unblemished, do not peel the potatoes but scrub them well. Otherwise, peel them then grate 1 potato on the large holes of a grater and the other two on the medium holes. Beat in the milk, egg and baking powder. Season with salt and pepper blend well, If there is a large amount of liquid in the mixture, drain off some of it. Heat a scant ½ inch of oil in a large skillet until it is very hot but not smoking. Drop the batter by large spoonfuls, flatten then slightly. Turn them once. When they are golden brown on the bottom side, cook them several minutes longer and drain them on paper towels. (The latkes will have crisp edges.)

Serve hot with sour cream or applesauce.

NANA'S LATKES (from the New York Times)

2 lbs. Idaho potatoes
2 lbs. Yukon potatoes
5 eggs, beaten
1 cup flour
vegetable oil for frying
sour cream
apple sauce

Peel potatoes, and keep in cold water until you are ready to grate them.

Grate the potatoes coarsely by hand (or with a Cuisinart using first the shredding blade then the blending blade). The mixture should be slighly lumpy and not too blended. Add the beaten eggs. Mix in up to 1 cup of flour. Add a little salt. The batter should be fairly liquid and not too thick.

Heat about a half-inch of vegetable oil in a frying pan. When the oil is very hot, use a soup spoon as a measure to put in small amounts of batter in the oil. Frying the pancakes on one side, then the other, until they have turned brown on both sides and are crispy around the edges.

Drain the pancakes on paper towels that have been placed on a platter atop a saucepan of simmering hot water or keep warm in the oven.

Makes about 80 3-inch latkes.

(The following 3 recipes are taken from: The Settlement Cookbook)


4 large potatoes or 2 cups raw, grated potatoes
1/2 cup sour cream or 1/2 cup hot milk
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, separated

Grate the potatoes, place in a colander, set over a bowl and drain. When the starch has settled in the bottom of the bowl, discard top liquid. Place drained potatoes in a mixing bowl, add starch, cream or hot milk, and salt. Beat yolks well add to potato mixture fold in the stiffly beaten whites. Drop by spoonfuls on a hot, well-greased skillet. Brown slowly on both sides. Serve with apple sauce.

4 large potatoes or 2 cups raw grated potatoes
2 eggs
1/8 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsps. salt
1 tbsp. flour, bread crumbs or matza meal
dash of pepper

Peel potatoes, grate, drain. Beat eggs well and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Drop by spoonfuls on a hot, well-greased skillet. Brown on both sides. Serve with applesauce.


Mix as above. Heat a generous amount of fat in a skillet, add potato batter bake in a hot oven, 400ºF, for 25 minutes.

Hanukkah Latkes (Potato Pancakes):

Scroll to the bottom for a printable recipe card with nutrition information.


2 large russet potatoes
1/2 onion, cut in half
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil

This recipe can easily be increased for large crowds. If you use 2 potatoes, you’ll get about 15 latkes. Everyone loves them so I would allow 3 per person.


Printable recipe card below

Start by washing the potatoes and then cutting them into pieces small enough to fit through the top of the food processor.

Do NOT peel the potatoes. The peels are really healthy and leaving them on the potatoes does not change the taste or look of the pancakes. Trust me on this if you’ve always peeled your potatoes and give it a try this way.

Pull out your food processor and set it up with the shredding blade. Add a mix of potato and onion into the opening in the top so they go through the shredder with the onion mixed throughout. By doing it this way, rather than all of the potato first and then all of the onion, your potatoes won’t turn gray from being exposed to air.

Add the beaten eggs, flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Next add the potatoes and onions and stir well.

Here’s were the fun starts.

Heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium-high in a frying pan. You don’t need a lot of oil. You aren’t deep frying the latkes like they are fried chicken. Rather, you want just enough oil on the bottom of the pan to crisp up the potatoes.

If you are making a double or triple batch, load up every burner with a frying pan to speed up this part of the process.

Using a slotted spoon, scoop about 1/3-1/2 cup of potato mixture into spoon, allowing excess liquid to drain back into the bowl. Drop the potato mixture into hot oil in the frying pan. Flip over the latkes when bottom is browned, then smash them down with a spatula to flatten the potato into a pancake.

Fry the second side until the potatoes are browned. At this point, take them out of the pan and place them on paper towels to soak up the excess oil. Add another round of potatoes to your frying pan and repeat until you fry up all of the potatoes.

You’ll need to keep adding oil to the pan for each round of latkes so keep the oil nearby.

I layer a couple of sheets of paper towels on a dinner plate and let the latkes sit there until the next batch of pancakes is ready to come up of a pan. At this point, I move the ones from the paper towel lined plate to a cookie sheet in a single layer.

Be sure to replace the paper towels when they get soaked in oil.

If you are making your latkes right before dinner is served, then skip the cookie sheets and stack them onto a platter. However, it takes a while to fry up a lot of latkes and the oil splatters a bit, so I recommend making them in advance if you are having a lot of people over for dinner. You can make them up to 1 day before you serve them. Just stick them in the refrigerator. They also freeze well, so you can make them well in advance of your holiday party or freeze the leftovers.

That said, I highly recommend making them the day you plan to serve them, either a few hours before your company arrives or right before you sit down to eat.

If you need to reheat the latkes before serving, put them on cookie sheets in a single layer and bake for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees, or 7-10 minutes at 450 degrees if they are frozen.

I like my latkes best plain with a little salt over the top, but they are traditionally served with applesauce and sour cream. Put the applesauce on the side and a dollop of sour cream on top.

Creamy Horseradish Sauce with Potato Latkes

Hanukkah is always a fun time of year for my family but this year is particularly special. Not only do we have a perfectly valid excuse to eat fried foods for 8 days straight but it also happens to coincide with my little sister’s 30th birthday!

That’s her in the middle which is fitting since she is the middle sister of us three. My youngest sister Anne is on the left holding my niece Aria who didn’t feel like taking a selfie.

Since I’ve already shared my Papa Leo’s secrets to perfect potato latkes, I thought it would be nice to share a delicious accompaniment: Creamy Horseradish Sauce. It is as simple as can be – plain Greek yogurt and a few other pantry staples.

The end result is a zippy, slightly spicy and perfectly creamy sauce that pairs perfectly with the crispy, salty potato pancakes. It’s a good thing Hanukkah is only 8 days because let me tell you, they most certainly fall into the “worth the calories” category.

Happy Hanukkah! Potato Latkes

Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel! You know what that means… It’s Hanukkah! Who wouldn’t love a celebration that lasts eight days and involves lighting pretty candles, exchanging gifts, playing games that involve chocolate coins and eating foods that have been fried in oil? Once a year, latkes (and even doughnuts) which are fried in oil are the reigning treats. Latkes, crispy and salty potato pancakes topped with applesauce and sour cream, are a family favorite. The only problem is, that no matter how many I make, they disappear! So what is the significance of the oil? Hanukkah, (Hanukah, Chanukkah or Chanukah depending on the transliteration) also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday in which candles are lit for eight nights to commemorate the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem which had been desecrated and a statue of Zeus built in it’s place back when Greek Gods were in favor (2nd century BCE). During the dedication a cask of oil which should have only been enough to burn the temple menorah for one night miraculously burned for eight, thus the eight days of celebration today incorporating candles, menorahs and oil.

Dreidel is a popular game played during Hanukkah. Tradition has it that the reason the dreidel game is played is to commemorate a game devised by the Jews to camouflage the fact that they were studying Torah, which was outlawed at the time by the Ancient Greeks. The Jews would gather to study, posting a lookout to alert the group to the presence of soldiers. If soldiers were spotted, the Jews would hide their scrolls and start to spin tops, so it would look like they were gambling instead of studying Torah. My family loves playing dreidel, and I have been collecting dreidels for over 20 years. Every year I hunt for a new dreidel to add to our collection. It’s getting harder to find something unique but I always find one. Here is this year’s new addition.

The other ubiquitous Hanukkah treat is the chocolate coins given as gifts or used as collateral in dreidel. Gold are milk chocolate and silver are dark, so pick your favorite!

Latkes are easy to make but it does take a toll on your kitchen as the splattering oil makes a bit of a mess – but they are worth it! There are many kinds of latkes, made with grated, shredded or mashed potatoes but my family prefers them extra crispy made with long thin strips of potato that allows the oil to seep in through the middle, crisping them the whole way through. Topped with applesauce and sour cream, they are hard to beat.

TIPS: I like to keep the skins on the potatoes for two reasons: the skin has much of the nutrition and it helps make the latkes extra crispy. I would recommend scrubbing the skins and then drying them with a towel to remove any remaining residue. Of course, you can always peel them if you want but it’s not necessary.

4 large potatoes
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
1/2 large or 1 whole small yellow onion, chopped
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsn lemon juice
2 Tbsn flour (any kind)
1 to 2 cups vegetable oil

  • Grate unpeeled potatoes using a hand grater or food processor fitted with the grate attachment. You can use a blender but your latkes will be more like pancakes. Squeeze excess water from the grated potatoes with paper towels and add lemon juice right away to prevent browning.

  • Heat half the oil in a heavy skillet on medium high to high until the oil is almost smoking. A cast iron pan works great as it holds the heat. Drop potato mixture by generous spoonfuls onto hot oil and flatten slightly with the tip of a wooden spoon. I try to poke a few holes so oil can bubble up through the middle.

  • Keep warm in a 250 degree oven covered loosely with aluminum foil. Latkes can be made ahead and reheated in single layers in a 350 degree oven.

Potato Latkes

  • Servings: 2 dozen
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy

4 large potatoes
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
1/2 large or 1 whole small yellow onion, chopped
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsn lemon juice
2 Tbsn flour (any kind)
1 to 2 cups vegetable oil

Watch the video: The Maccabeats - חנוכה OH HANUKKAH CHANUKKAH Israel Turk Kurd German Dance Nihat Abatu (August 2022).