Papa Leo’s traditional potato latkes (pancakes) are the perfect dish to serve for Hanukkah or any day of the year!
When Hanukkah rolls around every year, I have a hard time straying away from the traditional potato latke recipe passed down from my Papa Leo.
Crispy, salty, savory potato pancakes in all their glory – it doesn’t get any better than this, folks.
We top them simply with a little sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and apple sauce. That’s it. End of story. There is nothing else needed – this is your one way ticket to latke perfection.
A few tips I’ve learned over the years:
- Using a food processor with the grading attachment to shred the potatoes and onions will save you time and prevent bloody knuckles. Trust me on this one.
- Squeeze out as much water as possible from the grated potatoes. Paper towel or a kitchen tower work really well. Keep squeezing until you can’t squeeze any more. Note: If using a food processor, do the potatoes separately from the onions so you can squeeze them. Onion juice = flavor. Potato water = soggy sadness.
- Make more than you think you’ll need. More than likely, you’ll only make these once a year. Go crazy and make a double batch. Your family will thank you.
- 4 russet potatoes peeled and grated finely water squeezed out
- 1 medium onion grated finely
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup matzo meal or more if needed
- canola oil for frying
- sour cream and apple sauce for serving
- Using a food processor or cheese grader, grate the potatoes and place in a bowl using a paper towel to remove excess water.
- Grate the onions then add to the potatoes.
- Add egg, salt and matzo meal to the potato/onion mixture and mix well with a fork. If mixture seems too watery, add more matzo meal.
- Heat 2-3 inches of oil over medium-high heat In a deep pan (or cast iron skillet). Add a drop of the potato mixture to test the heat of the oil. If it bubbles, it's ready!
- Using an ice cream scoop or large soup spoon, drop potato mixture in to the oil being careful not to over crowd the pan. Flatten the pancakes with a metal spatula to ensure even cooking.
- After 3-4 minutes, check for color and flip once browned on one side. Flatten again with the spatula and cook until browned on both sides.
- Lay cooked latkes on plate or baking sheet lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- Continue working in batches until all of the potato mixture is gone.
- Serve with sour cream and apple sauce.
Keep potato latkes in oven heated to warm to keep hot until dinner is served.