Specially made for Hanukkah, latkes are potato pancakes that are fried in oil in recognition of the ancient lamps that held only enough oil for one day but miraculously burned for eight. Adding carrots, beets, parsnips, spinach, and currants also celebrates the past, when latkes were made with vegetables, cheeses, or fruits.
Yield Makes about 2 dozen
- 1 yellow onion, grated on the large holes of a box grater, or minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup matzo meal
- 2 pounds russet potatoes (about 4 large), peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
- Peanut oil, for frying
- Sour cream and applesauce, for serving
- In a large bowl, combine onion, salt, and pepper. Add eggs, and stir until incorporated. Add matzo meal, and stir until incorporated. Add potatoes, and toss until combined and evenly coated.
- Fill a large skillet with about 1/2 inch oil. Place over medium heat until oil is almost smoking. (To test, drop a small bit of batter into the skillet; it should sizzle upon contact.)
- Working in batches so as not to crowd skillet, carefully spoon about 2 tablespoons batter into oil for each latke. Lightly tamp down to flatten. Cook, turning once, until golden on each side, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spatula, transfer to a paper-towel-lined wire rack to drain. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately with sour cream and applesauce.
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