It’s Time for Latkes!


Chanukah, oh Hanukkah, come light the menorah — and bring forth those delicious latkes! The time is coming and we are ready to fry up some potato goodness. While no one can figure out the correct way to spell Hanukkah (Chanukah? How do you spell it in your house?), I have figured out a few simple tricks to make the latke party run a little bit smoother. In my house, I like to put together a latke bar — but before we get to the topping goodness, let me offer you a few tips and recipes.

I’m sure we can all agree that smoking up the house is no fun, but it’s a common occurrence when making latkes. It doesn’t matter how many doors and windows you open, or even how high your exhaust fan is running — that smell and fog lingers for a good week! This might seem blatantly obvious, but my solution is … don’t fry the latkes in your house (wink). An extension cord (so you can get far enough away from the house outside) and a deep electric skillet (like this) is all you need.

Fill up the skillet about halfway with oil and let it heat up for a good 15-20 minutes. I like to sprinkle some water in there — once it sizzles a bit and bounces off the oil I know I can start frying.  If you want to fry up just a few for the traditional oil burning of Hanukkah but still want to add a healthy spin to it, it’s okay to bake your latkes too! Simply prepare your latke and then brush some oil on the top to help it crisp in the oven.

Now, I’ve been embarking on a vegan adventure, and I’ve found that using dairy free options (in place of milk) and gluten-free flour has been totally fine. Egg substitute tends to work really well in place of eggs, too. So don’t let a dietary restriction hold you back!

I use a couple of recipes over the course of the holiday. I mean, you’ve got to have the traditional latkes, of course, but this sweet potato latkes recipe is a really tasty treat when you want to mix things up.

And I’ve got a few recipes on my list that I’m hoping to try this year, too.

Additional helpful Hanukkah tips:

  • To keep your latkes fresh and ready to serve, be sure to put some paper towels in between each layer as you pull the latkes out of the fryer. Let some of that oil catch on the paper so the potatoes do not get soggy as they sit.
  • When reheating, spread your latkes out on a baking sheet or in a toaster oven, and lightly toast to reheat and allow them to get crisp out of the fridge.
  • Use a spatula when serving to guests — tongs will cause these babies to fall apart!
  • For your latke bar, be sure to offer ingredients that recipes call for as garnishes, but offer the customary toppings too, like applesauce and sour cream. You could also put out tomatoes, goat cheese, mozzarella, pomegranate seeds, Greek yogurt, smoked salmon, or horseradish.
  • To discard the oil, allow it to sit outside until it completely cools and pour it into a disposable container. I never bring the oil into the house at all.

Making latkes? Tag us on social and let us know what you’re stocking your latke bar with! —Jennifer


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