December 01, 2010

First night of Chanukah

Tonight is the first night of Chanukah. It's not the most important Jewish holiday, but it sure is the most well-known, probably because of the proximity to Christmas.

Like most Jewish holidays, we eat special food during Chanukah. Donuts are popular in Israel -- I hear the "season" extends now from after Simchat Torah to some time in January. Around the world, Sephardic Jews eat bimueolos and Ashkenazic Jews eat latkes. You gotta love a holiday that celebrates fried food!

My father used to stand at the stove and fry the potato latkes. He never sat down to eat, just kept them coming for my mother, my sister and me. Of course I like his version the best: potatoes and onions grated on the small, round holes of the box grater, with a little skin from the knuckles maybe mixed in. No long, shredded potatoes for me!

I've modernized by shredding the potatoes in the food processor, then changing blades and pulsing the potatoes until they're finely chopped. I scoop them out, place in a strainer over a bowl, and finely chop the onions the same way. Add an egg, some salt and pepper, and a little matza meal or flour, and stir together. Drop by large tablespoons into hot oil. Keep draining the rest of the mixture while frying the latkes. Serve with applesauce on every occasion and sour cream (if it's a dairy meal).

Delicious! I never met a fried potato I didn't like.

Oh! You want the proportions? To serve four people I use:
4 small Yukon Gold potatoes
1 large onion
1 egg
1-2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
fresh grated black pepper
plenty of olive oil for frying


  1. It is a good way to forget the pain and medicines, eat a good snack is to think that life is exquisite.

  2. Anonymous7:59 PM

    I am not Jewish, but I love latkes. Very popular dish in Eastern Europe.Hungarians serve them with a spicy sauce, goulash or fried tomatoes, Poles and Russians eat them plain or with sour cream.I make them the same way your father did. Too bad I can't eat them anymore(my stomach can't tolerate it, to much olive oil)

  3. Anonymous8:02 PM

    Happy Chanukah. I just got to excited about latkes..

  4. Happy Chanukah, Jill. Will have to get some potatoes now that you reminded me how much I love latkes.