Tonight we'll light the fifth candle for Chanukah. Last night I made latkes for dinner (and fresh trout, and green peas). I used my Dad's recipe but instead of standing and frying while Rik sat and ate (Dad used to fry while we ate; he'd eat standing up at the range), I kept the latkes on a rack placed on a rimmed baking sheet in a warm oven until we were ready to eat. I learned that trick from Cook's Illustrated.
The real problem for me is that I don't always like other peoples' latkes, so when I go to a Chanukah party, I might be disappointed. Latkes should be made from potatoes grated on the small, round holes of a box grater, not shredded, with plenty of onion, salt and pepper, and just an egg or two (depending on quantity) and maybe some matzah meal or flour to bind everything together. Okay, I use my food processor instead of a box grater. But after I shred the potatoes, I spin them a few times using the S-blade. This gives the texture of grated potatoes without the risk of bloody knuckles. Same with the onions.
My sister taught me two tricks:
1. After you mix everything together, place the mixture in a strainer over a bowl and let it continue to strain while frying. The less liquid, the better.
2. If you want to make latkes in advance for a large group, fry and then freeze on a flat tray. When frozen, bag until you need them. Reheat gently in a low oven.
Today I fried about 30 latkes and froze them to serve for dinner on Friday night. I couldn't help but eat the broken bits. YUMMY!