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    Delicious Homemade Potato Latkes Recipe

    Published December 18, 2019. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    If you’re looking for a tasty appetizer to serve up to friends or make with your kids, these potato latkes are super easy to make and are dang delicious!

    potato latke on a parchment paper with apple sauce on top

    What Are They

    Latke is a classic Jewish recipe of fried browned shredded potato that is mixed with matzo meal, eggs, baking powder, salt, and pepper and is usually served up for Hanukkah.  They are incredibly popular and are great to eat all year long.

    Classically they would also be made with root vegetables, which you can actually still do if you’d like cause they’re really tasty.

    Are Potato Pancakes and Latkes the Same Thing

    There are definitely differences between the two recipes:

    • Potato Pancakes: These are made from mashed potatoes and some cooked shredded potatoes that are then mixed with other ingredients and are cooked and look like a traditional round pancake.
    • Latkes: Are shredded raw potatoes that are mixed with a few ingredients and are fried up until brown and can be much oblong in shape and size

    What’s the Best Potato to use

    The best potato to use is a russet or Idaho potato because of its high starch content.  You should avoid using Yukon gold or red new potatoes.

    How to Make Latkes

    1. Peel and shred large potatoes right into some cheesecloth.
    2. Squeeze as much liquid from the potatoes as possible into your sink.
    3. Mix the shredded potatoes with eggs, matzo meal, baking powder, salt, and pepper until combined.
    how make latkes with potatoes and removing potato water

    At this point, you will want to heat up some oil and schmaltz, or rendered chicken fat, (ß Aff Link), which is incredibly traditional to use when making these.  The oil should be around 350° when frying.

    Scoop some of the latke mixtures right into some of the hot oil and gently press down the tops with the backside of the scoop to flatten them out a bit.  Cook these for 3 ½ to 4 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked throughout.

    frying latkes in a sate pan with oil and draining them on a rack

    This recipe makes quite a bit so cook them in batches and drain off as much oil as possible after cooking by placing them on a rack or paper towels.

    How to Serve Them

    Latkes are classically served up with apple sauce or a dollop of sour cream or crème Fraiche.  If serving them with the sour cream it’s a nice touch to garnish with some chopped fresh chives and dill!

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    These will store in the refrigerator covered for up to 3 days or will freeze well covered for up to 2 months.  Thaw them for 1 day in the refrigerator before reheating.   To reheat the latkes, place in the oven at 350°for 6-8 minutes or until hot in the center.  You can also heat them in the microwave, but they may lose some of the outside crispness.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    chef notes + tips

    • It is incredibly important to squeeze out as much liquid from the potatoes as possible so that they can soak up all of the ingredients when mixing them with the eggs, matzo, baking powder, etc.
    • If the potatoes have too much liquid in them, your latke batter will be really wet and won’t hold together while frying.
    • Do not worry if the potatoes start to turn brown as they will regain color once frying.
    • In addition to the finely chopped yellow onions, you can also run it on a Microplane or the fine grate side of your grater to easily incorporate onion flavor into the recipe.
    • If you don’t have a thermometer to see how hot the oil is, just add a small amount of the latke batter in and if it begins to fry then you are good to go. Better to be too cool than too hot.
    • If you do not drain the fried latkes on a rack or on paper towels, they will become incredibly soggy and lose the outside crispness.
    • Cook the latkes in batches of 8 since this makes 24 total.
    browned cooked latkes with sour cream and applesauce

     

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    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Video

    Delicious Homemade Potato Latkes Recipe

    If you’re looking for a tasty appetizer to serve up to friends, these potato latkes are super easy to make and are dang delicious!
    Servings: 24
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Total Time: 30 minutes

    Ingredients 

    • 3 pounds or 4-5 large peeled russet potatoes
    • ½ peeled and finely diced yellow onion
    • 1 cup matzo meal
    • 5 large eggs
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 2 teaspoons sea salt
    • ½ teaspoon pepper
    • canola oil for frying
    • ¼ cup schmaltz
    • sour cream, chopped dill, chopped chives and apple sauce for garnish

    Instructions

    • Shred the potatoes on a grater and place them into cheesecloth and squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible. Set aside.
    • In a large bowl whisk together the onion, matzo meal, eggs, baking powder, salt, and pepper until combined and then add in the potatoes and mix in completely using a spoon or your hands. Set aside.
    • Heat the oil and schmaltz in a large frying pan to 350°.
    • using a small ice cream scoop, scoop out some of the latke batter and place in the hot oil. Tap down the top of the latke in the oil to flatten it out.
    • Cook for 3 ½ to 4 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked throughout.
    • Drain on a rack or paper towels before serving them with a dollop of sour cream with chives and dill or with apple sauce.

    Notes

    Chef Notes:
    • It is incredibly important to squeeze out as much liquid from the potatoes as possible so that they can soak up all of the ingredients when mixing them with the eggs, matzo, baking powder, etc.
    • If the potatoes have too much liquid in them, your latke batter will be really wet and won’t hold together while frying.
    • Do not worry if the potatoes start to turn brown as they will regain color once frying.
    • In addition to the finely chopped yellow onions, you can also run it on a Microplane or the fine grate side of your grater to easily incorporate onion flavor into the recipe.
    • If you don’t have a thermometer to see how hot the oil is, just add a small amount of the latke batter in and if it begins to fry then you are good to go. Better to be too cool than too hot.
    • If you do not drain the fried latkes on a rack or on paper towels, they will become incredibly soggy and lose the outside crispness.
    • Cook the latkes in batches of 8 since this makes 24 total.
    • These will store in the refrigerator covered for up to 3 days or will freeze well covered for up to 2 months. Thaw them for 1 day in the refrigerator before reheating.
    • To reheat the latkes, place in the oven at 350°for 6-8 minutes or until hot in the center. You can also heat them in the microwave, but they may lose some of the outside crispness.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 102kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 3gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 210mgPotassium: 293mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 50IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 28mgIron: 1mg
    Course: Appetizer, lunch
    Cuisine: jewish