The holiday season is getting closer as we speak. It’s amazing to see how all around the world people are getting ready to celebrate in different ways. Some places already have snow and winter glow, others are just starting the summer. Some streets are decorated with Christmas trees and lights while others are filled with the smell of fresh doughnuts for Hanukkah.
Here in Tel Aviv, we have a rainy week ahead of us and you can already find the special holiday doughnuts (sufganiyot) everywhere.
During Hanukkah there is a custom of eating foods fried or baked in oil, to commemorate the miracle of a small flask of oil keeping the Second Temple’s Menorah alight for eight days.
If you ask me, the best thing about this holiday is that it’s my Jewish birthday. The second-best thing about it is that we get to eat Potato Latkes! After a short Instagram survey, I learned that you all want to get this recipe ASAP. So here it is.
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Scrub the potatoes and pet them dry.
Grate the potatoes, using a food processor with a shredding disc or a simple box grater.
Squeeze the potatoes with your hand or using a cheesecloth. Your goal is to get a dry potato mixture in order to get crispy latkes. Make sure you keep the squeezed liquid because you’ll need it later on.
Mix the dry potato mixture with a pinch of salt and set aside.
Prepare the dip – mix the cheese, mustard, and spices together. Thinly chop the green part of the onion and mix to combine. Set aside in the fridge.
It is time to use the potato liquid. By this point, the potato starch already sank to the bottom of the bowl. Using your fingers, scrape about 1 tbsp of starch and mix it with the dry potato mixture. Alternatively, mix 1 tbsp of store-bought potato starch into the mixture, making sure it doesn’t cling to one spot.
Form the latkes – using your hands, form small and even patties. In order to make sure you used enough potato starch, hold the formed patty between two fingers and make sure it doesn’t fall apart.
Place a large frying pan on medium heat and cover with oil. Test to make sure it’s well heated and fry the patties until each side is golden brown. The latkes should sizzle imminently when placed in the oil. Make sure to keep it hot (but not to hot) and not to fry too many latkes at a time (which could also cause the oil to cool down more than necessary).
Remove the fried latkes and drain on paper towels.
Serve immediately with the cheese-mustard dip.