Recipe by Anna Meyer (Gorman) – Children’s Program and Extra Helpings Administrator
Latkes, probably the most well-known food served for the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, are what hash browns wish they could be. These crispy-on-the outside and fluffy-on-the-inside morsels of potato goodness can be enjoyed any time of year! They’re traditionally fried on the stovetop (a daunting task for many of us), but this version is easier, safer and uses less oil.
3 russet potatoes
1 yellow onion (peeled)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup vegetable oil
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Peel potatoes. Grate the onion and potatoes on a box grater or in a food processor.
Place the potato and onion in the center of a large dish towel (preferably one you don’t mind staining). Over the sink, twist the dish towel to wring out the excess moisture from the onion and potato. You may have to do this in two batches.
Transfer the potato-onion mixture to a bowl and mix in the eggs, flour, baking powder, and salt.
Fill 2 NON-STICK rimmed baking sheets with 1/2 cup of oil each. Place the two baking sheets in the oven for 10 minutes to preheat the oil.
Carefully remove the sheet pans using oven mitts. Using a 1/4 measuring cup, drop the latke mixture onto the sheet pan about 2 inches apart. Using the bottom of the measuring cup or a spatula, flatten the latke mixture slightly.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the bottoms are crisp and golden. Carefully remove the pans again and flip the latkes using tongs (you can use a spatula if you want, but there may be more oil splatter). Return to the oven for about 10 minutes more, or until crisp and a deep golden brown.
Remove from oven and transfer to a platter lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt while still hot.
It’s very important that you use non-stick pans, otherwise the latkes will stick and you won’t be able to flip them. Using non-stick also ensures easy cleanup.
Make sure you wring out as much moisture as possible using your dish towel – this is the key to getting the latkes crispy.
Half the Russet potatoes can be replaced with another root vegetable (sweet potato, parsnip, yam, etc.), but keep it at 50:50 because the Russets provide the best crispy-on-the-outside and fluffy-on-the-inside results. Taking them out entirely might impair the texture.
Serving plain with sour cream and applesauce is traditional if you’re eating these latkes for Hanukkah. Add fresh or dried herbs to the initial potato-onion mixture (such as rosemary, thyme, or sage) for a delicious side dish to any holiday dinner.