We don’t truly feel like it’s the holiday season if we haven’t consumed our weight in Hanukkah latkes. The crisp, golden brown outside and fluffy, creamy inside…latkes just may be our favorite potato preparation (bold statement, we know.) Latkes are a hit with pretty much everyone, they’re easy to prepare in large quantities, and work with a variety of toppings. What’s not to love? In honor of the holidays, we’re celebrating the latke in all its golden glory, and passing along some of our favorite ways to jazz up this humble potato pancake. Get ready for a choose-your-own-latke adventure!
Base Latke Recipe
4 Servings (can be easily multiplied)
5 tablespoons flour
5 Russet potatoes
Grate potatoes on the large holes of a box grater, and place in a mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Push potatoes down in strainer to remove as much moisture as possible. Then, place potatoes in a clean kitchen towel or paper towel and gently squeeze to wring out as much water as possible. Add to a large bowl along with flour, 3 egg, 1.5 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Using your hands, mix well. In a large, nonstick pan over medium heat, add enough canola oil to cover the bottom of the pan. When oil is shimmering and pan is just smoking, gently add .25 cup latke mixture at a time. Flatten each latke slightly with a spatula and fry until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes per side, working in batches and adding more canola oil as needed. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and sprinkle over salt.
Horseradish Crème Fraîche and Chives
.5 cup Creme Fraiche
2 tablespoons horseradish
.25 ounce chives
Salt and pepper
Thinly slice chives. Stir together half of chives, crème fraîche, and horseradish until smooth. Season with .5 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Dollop horseradish crème fraîche over latkes and garnish with remaining chopped chives.
Smoked Salmon + Whipped Cream Cheese + Sliced Cucumber
12 ounces smoked salmon
1 English Cucumber, thinly sliced and sprinkled with salt
4 ounces whipped cream cheese (more or less depending on spreading)
Spread whipped cream cheese over latkes then top with sliced cucumbers and slices of smoked salmon.
Caramelized Onions + Apples
2 red onions
4 Gala apples
1.5 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
.5 cup white wine
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs sage
Peel onions, halve, and thinly slice. Rinse apples, halve, and remove cores. Cut into small dice. Finely chop sage leaves, discarding stems. Heat butter in a large pan over medium heat. When butter is foamy, add onion and sauté stirring occasionally, until soft, 5–7 minutes. Add brown sugar and apples and cook, stirring, until fruit begins to soften, 5 minutes. Add wine and reduce slightly, 30 seconds. Add balsamic vinegar and sage and cook until apples are very tender and caramelized, 2 minutes more. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper as desired. Spoon apples and onions over latkes.
Sour Cream + Salmon Roe
4 ounces sour cream
2–4 ounces salmon roe (depending on how much you want to put!)
Dill, for garnish
Spread sour cream over latkes, then top with a small spoonful salmon roe. Add a sprig of dill on top for garnish.
Tzatziki + Za’atar
1 8-ounce container Greek yogurt
1 English Cucumber
Salt + pepper
1 clove garlic
.5 tablespoon olive oil
2–3 tablespoons za’atar (or more, depending on your taste preference)
Grate or finely chop cucumber and place in a strainer over a large bowl. Allow to drain for a few minutes, pressing down on cucumber to remove excess moisture. While cucumber drains, chop garlic, and halve lemons. Wrap cucumbers in paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and wring to remove any remaining moisture. Place cucumber in a large bowl, then add in yogurt, juice of both lemons, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Drizzle in olive oil, then stir to incorporate fully. Spread tzatziki on latkes, then sprinkle over za’atar.
Scrambled Eggs + Sriracha Mayo
Salt and pepper
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
1.5 tablespoons Sriracha (or more depending on how spicy you like it!)
Whisk sriracha and mayonnaise together in a small bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan over low heat. While butter melts, crack eggs into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add eggs to saucepan, stirring continuously, until cooked to your preference. Top latkes with scrambled eggs, then drizzle over Sriracha mayo.
Figs + Yogurt + Honey
1 8-ounce container Greek Yogurt
1–2 tablespoons Honey
5–6 figs (or dried figs)
Cut figs into thin slices. In a medium bowl, stir together yogurt and honey until fully combined. Top latkes with honeyed yogurt and place a few slices of fig on top.
Blue Cheese and Quince Paste
8 ounces blue cheese
10 ounces membrillo (quince paste)-—you may have some left over!
Top latkes with blue cheese and a slice of quince paste.
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