After all, frying is the point on Chanukah. The holiday commemorates the miracle of the oil in the Holy Temple, so we celebrate by eating foods fried in oil.
When we make latkes, we don't mess around. Sure, you can have them as a side dish. But since they are an infrequent treat, for at least one night of Chanukah (more often two), our family has a latke supper, with maybe a salad on the side. We enjoy them as a dairy meal, topped with sour cream (or yogurt, for those of us who are fat-conscious), as well as homemade applesauce. We also tend to have extended family over during Chanukah, so this recipe makes a lot. Leftovers (and there are not a lot) can be reheated in the toaster oven.
While latkes taste best fresh out of the pan, we all like to eat together as a family. Jeffrey will make several batches, keeping them warm in the oven, separated by paper towels. Then we bring out the platters and dig in.
Note: You may not use the entire bottle of vegetable oil, but it's a good idea to have enough around just in case.
2. Wash and scrub the potatoes if you want to keep the skins on, or peel them. Grate the potatoes. This is easiest to do in a food processor, but can also be done with a hand grater. Grate the onions, and mix with the potatoes in a large bowl. In a separate bowl lightly beat the eggs and salt. Add to the potatoes and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and mix in.
3. Turn the heat under the oil to medium. The oil is ready when a bit of potato dropped in it sizzles. Use a 1/3-cup measuring cup to scoop up the batter. Drop it into the hot oil and flatten with the back of a spatula.
4. Cook the latkes until golden brown on one side, about 4 to 5 minutes, then flip over and cook the second side until golden, another 3 to 4 minutes. When ready, remove to a plate covered with a layer of paper towels to absorb the oil. Serve immediately or keep warm in a low oven (200°F) until ready to serve.
5. Serve with bowls of sour cream (or plain yogurt) and applesauce.
Excerpted from How to Keep Kosher: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Jewish Dietary Laws by Lisë Stern (William Morrow, 2004). © 2004 by Lisë Stern.
Andrea Reusing is the creator of the restaurant Lantern in Chapel Hill, N.C., and author of the book Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes. In this installment of The Key 3, she shares with Lynne Rossetto Kasper the techniques behind three of her favorite recipes: Turnip Soup, Overnight Braised Short Ribs and Tomato Salad.