I love Hanukkah, and not just for presents. I love latkes. I do. I adore them. I love them enough to grate my fingers while grating the potatoes, cry over the onions, and duck when the oil pops. I even bought a food processor to protect my fingers and a splatter screen for the pan all for the love of latkes. I didn’t know people ate anything else for Hanukkah until my aunt served brisket. Wonderful brisket, so wonderful it almost overshadowed the latkes and that just won’t do. Simple foods to eat on the side of the latkes make me happy because the latkes is the star. Oh sure, I’ve seen recipes for alternatives to latkes, even a fig cake that used a healthy dose of oil but I thought “Why? Why fix something that isn’t broke? Why reinvent the wheel when the wheel works?"
Well, I never gave latke making another thought until someone on the EtsyChai team asked for suggestions to “jazz latkes up.” Hmmm, maybe it is time for me to take a second look at my beloved latke. A bit of brainstorming ensued and here’s what we’ve come up with.
Add grated daikon radish to the potatoes.
Add a little sour cream or cheese like gorgonzola or feta to the potatoes for a little zing.
Add feta cheese, blue cheese, or gorgonzola to the sour cream, or maybe some garlic, chives, or onion.
How about Greek yogurt instead of sour cream? Maybe add Romano or parmesan
Make a balsamic vinegar reduction to serve with the latkes.
Make a mixed fruit sauce or pear butter instead of apple sauce.
By the way, here’s Grandma Freida’s recipe, at least how I remember it.
6 large russet potatoes, peeled 2 large onions
2 eggs 1/2 cup matzo meal
salt and pepper
oil for frying
Grate the potatoes. Place the potatoes in a strainer and let them drain for about 15-30 minutes. Place the potatoes in a bowl. Grate the onions and add to the potatoes. Add the matzo meal, salt, and pepper and mix. Heat the oil in a skillet (approx 350 degrees). Using a large spoon, place the mixture into the oil and flatten each pancake. Fry on each side until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the oil and place on paper towels to drain. Serve with apple sauce.
Now that’s Grandma’s recipe but you can use any of our ideas. Let me know how it comes out.
Enjoy, or as Grandma would say, Es gesunta hait!
Post by Eileen Patterson aka Goofing Off.
GoofingOff Sewing Supplies, that is.