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How to Make Potato Latkes

Learn how to make potato latkes, also known as potato pancakes, and savor a traditional Jewish food during the celebration of Hanukkah. Cook up a batch as a family activity and also take time to understand how the oil in potato pancakes is symbolic of the oil in the Hanukkah story.

After the Maccabees revolted against Anotichos IV and the persecution of the Jews, they rededicated the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. However, there was only enough oil left to burn the eternal flame in the temple for one day. Miraculously, it lasted for eight days—just the amount of time needed to make a fresh supply of oil. Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is a celebration of that miracle.

This Hanukkah season, make delicious and easy latke recipes. Continue a family tradition and use a potato latkes recipe from a relative or try out the following recipe.

Recipe for Potato Latkes

Ingredients and Equipment:

  • 3 large russet potatoes
  • ½ an onion
  • 2 tablespoons of either matzo meal or flour
  • 1 egg
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • mixing bowl
  • large grater or food processor
  • large skillet
  • condiment (apple sauce and sour cream are traditional)

Directions:

  1. Grate the potatoes and onion using your food grater or food processor and place them into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of matzo meal or flour, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of pepper to the mixing bowl. Use your hands or a spoon to combine all of the ingredients into your mixture.
  3. Heat 2–3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Once the oil is hot, place about 2–3 tablespoons of your potato mixture into the skillet for each pancake. (You will probably be able to fit 3 or 4 pancakes into your pan at one time.)
  5. Flatten each potato cake slightly with your spatula.
  6. Let the pancakes cook for 4 minutes on one side, then flip and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Remove your golden brown potato pancakes and repeat with the rest of the potato mixture.
  8. Top the pancakes with your favorite condiments like apple sauce or sour cream. Serve them hot!

Have a very happy Hanukkah and enjoy traditional and scrumptious Jewish dishes like latkes!

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