All the deliciousness of hot potato latkes with no mess, no fuss, and no standing by the stove for ages! Perfect for Chanukah & all year round.
Chanukah is here at last! What a day Kipper and I had. We started off in London to see the stage production of The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming, at JW3. I’m always amazed at how a book that can be read in 5 minutes can be turned into an hour long show, and The Latke… didn’t disappoint. The cast were incredibly talented and acted, sang and played multiple musical instruments to bring the story to life. My daughter Kipper and I had front row seats and she was enthralled and delighted.
What IS a latke?
Latkes are crispy golden potato pancakes that are traditionally eaten on Chanukah. The miracle of Chanukah is all about the oil, and so fried foods are big news this week.
Following the show we had a lovely lunch, and, somewhat inevitably, a latke. Kipper ate it in the back of a taxi on our way to the station. We got the train home in time to light our first Chanukah candle, and open our first presents. (We try to spread the presents out over all 8 nights.)
A lotta latkes
Having had a latke themed day so far, it seemed only right to make potato latkes for dinner. It was the first night of Chanukah after all! But I really didn’t fancy standing in front of a hot stove, tending a pan of spitting hot oil, and cooking three at a time for an eternity, while DH and Kipper had all the fun with the presents in the other room.
A better way?
There had to be a better way to cook them, and there is! I heated up the oil on a tray in the oven, dolloped on the latke mixture, then cooked them all in one go in the oven. No fuss, no mess, no oil-splattered clothes and stinky-chip-shop hair. AND I got to hang around while Kipper opened her first present (this fabulous doll, if you’re interested).
What kind of oil?
I cooked one tray of latkes with sunflower oil and another with olive oil. DH claimed the olive oil ones were better, although I’m not sure I could tell the difference. Olive oil is certainly more traditional for Chanukah. I suggest you use whichever you prefer.
Mix it up
The potato latke mixture I used is more or less the one from Evelyn Rose, with some minor amendments. Evelyn claims that this amount will serve 4-6 people. HA! We devoured the lot between the three of us. Make plenty – they are addictive.
We had our latkes with the not-very-traditional accompaniments of smoked salmon and sliced avocado. They were delicious.
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Oven-fried potato latkes
- Food processor
- ~200 ml sunflower or olive oil (approx. 1 cup)
- 750 g potatoes (approx. 26.5 oz)
- 1 small onion
- 2 eggs
- 4 tbsp self-raising flour
- Pinch salt
- Pinch ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Pour oil into 2 rimmed baking sheets to a depth of 1-2mm (you may not need all the oil) and place in the oven to heat up.
- Peel the potatoes. Using the grating disc in the food processor, grate the potatoes finely. Discard any large ungrated lumps and transfer the grated potato to a sieve. Press down to remove as much liquid as possible. Leave to drain.
- Meanwhile, replace the grating disc in the food processor with the regular blade. Peel the onion and cut into quarters. Put the onion, eggs, flour, salt and pepper into the food processor bowl and blend for a few seconds until well combined.
- Add the potato to the bowl and pulse a few times until mixed. Scrape down with a spatula and pulse again. Do not over process - you want shreds of potato in the mixture.
- Remove the baking sheets of hot oil from the oven - be very careful! Dollop tablespoons of potato mixture onto the sheets - they should sizzle. You should make about 16 latkes. Return the baking sheets to the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes until the latkes are starting to brown on top.
- Remove the baking sheets from the oven and turn over the latkes. Return to the oven and cook for another 15 minutes until the latkes are cooked through and golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and transfer the latkes to a plate lined with plenty of absorbent paper. Allow some of the oil to drain off and eat!
If you have latkes leftover, why not enjoy them as part of a Full Jewish Breakfast?
And don’t forget to check out my Ultimate Guide to Chanukah Food Traditions which includes over 50 delicious seasonal recipes from around the world.