I decided to make latkes for the first time because Hanukkah is coming up December 2. Now I don’t celebrate the holiday but I’m sure many of you do and were wondering if hot for food would ever deliver?! Well, this is it! Personally, my only memory of eating latkes was when I was in grade 2 and I had a best friend who was Jewish. Her mom would make them for us and I remember thinking they were pretty magical.
The trick to the latke is getting the potatoes extremely dry because you need these to be super light and crispy! I’ll walk you through all the steps in the video below and then you can dive in to your own big stack of latkes.
lemon dill sour cream
MAKES about 2 1/2 cups
PREP TIME: 25 minutes
1 1/2 C raw cashews (soaked in hot water for 20 minutes)
2 tbsp lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)
1/2 C lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
1/2 C nondairy milk or water
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp granulated garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 C loose packed fresh dill fronds
3 garlic cloves
2 green onions, ends trimmed & roughly chopped
potato & sauerkraut latkes
MAKES 16 latkes
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOK TIME: 45 minutes
1 1/4 lbs russet baking potatoes, peeled
1/2 a large white onion
1 C sauerkraut, drained and tightly packed
1 tbsp ground flax
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp matzo meal (regular or gluten-free)
1/4 C dill, finely chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black ground pepper
1/2 tsp granulated garlic powder
3/4 C vegetable oil, for frying
To make the lemon dill sour cream drain and rinse the raw cashews from the soaking water. Place in a high powered blender with the remaining ingredients and blend until very smooth.
Refrigerate the sour cream until ready to serve with the latkes. If you have leftover sour cream it makes a great green goddess salad dressing if you thin it out with a bit of water!
The best way to shred the potatoes and onion for the latkes is with the small grating disc in a food processor. If you don’t have that you can hand grate using a box grater.
Combine the flax mixture with 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and set aside to thicken while you finish preparing the potatoes and onions.
Once the potatoes and onion are shredded, do the following in 2 batches. Using a clean dish towel, nut milk bag, or cheese cloth squeeze the moisture from the potato shreds, onion shreds, and sauerkraut. Ideally you will use a second clean dish towel to squeeze even more moisture out. The more moisture you remove, the crispier the latkes. Set potato mixture aside in a large salad spinner or a mixing bowl.
If using a salad spinner, spin the potato, onion and sauerkraut mixture to remove even more residual moisture.
Either continue to mix up the latkes with remaining ingredients in the bowl of the salad spinner or a clean mixing bowl. Add the thickened flax mixture, matzo meal (you can also use bread crumbs instead), dill, sea salt, ground pepper, and granulated garlic. Use your hands to combine well and evenly.
In a cast iron pan, on medium-heat, pour the vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Start forming the first batch of latkes by using a 1/4 measuring cup to scoop out some of the potato mixture. Pour it into your palm and slightly flatten it using your fingers from the opposite hand. Once the oil is hot, use a spatula to slide the latke into the hot oil away from you to minimize splashing.
The latkes should be about 3-inches wide. Cook about 3 to 4 latkes at a time, uncrowded. Do not touch the latkes or flatten with a spatula. Let them fry untouched for 4 to 5 minutes until golden brown on the edges. Then flip and fry for another 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the pan onto a plate lined with paper towel. Continue frying in batches.
You may need to add a bit more vegetable oil to the pan for the last 1 to 2 batches of latkes to achieve even browning.
Serve immediately with dollops of the lemon dill sour cream and extra dill fronds, as garnish