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.