My Mom Walked Me Through Her Favorite Hanukkah Latkes Recipe

They can be your favorite now too!

As we continue to prepare for a set of holidays quite unlike any other we've ever experienced, I have been coping by kindly-yet-firmly making my mother walk me through some of my all-time favorite Jewish recipes via FaceTime. This, in fact, is the premise of my new pandemic-friendly show Slightly Kosher, and it serves more of a purpose than just helping me get through the end of this year with some semblance of perspective still intact; it also helps me share these soul-warming recipes with you! Because Jewish food is gorgeous and easy and exclusively made in large batches that last for weeks and everyone should be able to enjoy it, no matter how (1) Jewish or not or (2) skilled of a cook or not they are!

So! Latkes. Little cakes of shredded potato fried to a slightly chewy, deliciously crispy bundle in a pan. Potato pancakes, if you will! My mom and dad make two or more batches of them on the first and second nights of Hanukkah every year, and they are a perfect accompaniment for a traditional Hanukkah brisket, or, just, like, a really fun appetizer that you'll get real full on real fast.

Sorry. I'm not used to you coming to me for recipes. I'll give you the recipe now!

In order to make about 12 latkes, you'll need four large Yukon potatoes, one large zucchini, one large white onion, three eggs, three tablespoons of flour, one teaspoon of baking powder, one full cup of olive oil, and as much salt and pepper as you typically like in your potato-centric dishes. Honestly, if we're feeling wild and the onion isn't big enough, we'll throw a pinch of onion powder in there too. That's it! Ready?

Peel the zucchini but leave the potato skins on. Grate everything until you have a mass of shredded vegetables in a large bowl. Dice up the onion and combine it with the veggies. Dump the mass of vegetables out onto a kitchen towel and let it sit in a colander for 10 minutes or more. Roll up the towel and wring out as much of the liquid as humanly possible. This is crucial for endgame crispiness!
Add baking powder, flour, eggs, and seasoning into the vegetable mixture. Combine. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat (you may need more olive oil as you move from batch to batch!). Drop four or five large spoonfuls into the oil once heated, making sure to flatten the top of each one with a spatula. You want a substantial latke, but not one so thin it's just a crisp or so thick it's a legit pancake. Got it?
After about three minutes (or however long until you notice browning on the rims of the latkes), flip. Keep in the pan until brown on both sides! Transfer the latkes to a plate lined with a paper towel.
Eat that shit immediately with as much applesauce and sour cream desired.

I deliver. Do I not? Chag Sameach, y'all.

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