Republishing this post again this year for those who want to know how to make a latka to celebrate Hanukkah this year! Seriously, these are delicious.
One of my first food memories of my new neighbourhood in Toronto when I was just a little kid was getting to go over to one of my classmate’s house and have her mom patiently make potato latkes for all of us. I remember thinking it was unlike anything I had ever eaten and I loved that this food was important to a holiday I had never heard of before. It was obvious to me that this was a new food only to me and I really enjoyed being part of a new cultural experience through food. We hear so much about Christmas that I wanted to honour Hunukkah one more time in my kitchen before tackling my Yule baking!
OK, apparently I started the process incorrectly, LOL. I followed this recipe at Kosher Food at About.com which says to place the potatoes and onions in a food processor fitting with a knife blade but most images of potato latkes are clearly shredded. Doh! OK, I tried. Good news is they still rocked!
I am not feeding a big family so I had to alter the recipe a little. I peeled 3 potatoes and kept them in cold water until they were ready to be chopped and processed. I drained them, chopped them roughly and put them in the processor with 1/2 of a cooking onion and 1 shallot. I pulsed until smooth.
I drained the mixture very well. I beat in two eggs and added some salt and pepper.
Then I added enough flour to really turn this into a batter, around 1/2 cup of flour.
The symbolism that is important at Hanukkah is the use of the oil: “Fried food is traditionally eaten on Hanukkah in commemoration of the oil that miraculously burned for eight days when the Maccabees purified and rededicated the holy Temple in Jerusalem.” ~ Giora Shimoni
Normally I would never come close to deep frying food but I was generous with my cooking oil in order to honour Hanukkah. I used my medium-sized ice cream scoop to add the batter and with the back of my spatula I pushed down the centres to flatten them out so they would cook all the way through.
Shredded or not, these potato pancakes were delicious! I did add a little touch of my Latvian tradition by adding some dill to the accompanying sour cream. Debra reminded me that these are traditionally served with applesauce. Yummy!
This was so much fun to make and really helped me time travel back to my childhood. Food is miraculous.