Latkes and Two Sauces

Chag Hanukkah Sameach!, to all my tribal friends.

There is a Yiddish joke about latkes, “How did the oil last eight days on Hanukkah? They drained the latkes into the lamps.” (Many thanks to Yanky for that one and the many memories of my days working with him.)

Tradition says, “We will serve these with Sour Cream and Apple Sauce. ” I say, “BORING!” I’ll add the recipes for horseradish sauce and a jalapeno dill dipping sauce. (One could commit the ultimate sacrilege and mix a couple of jalapenos into the latke dough.)

For this, we want the starchiest potatoes possible, drain them as well as humanly possible, and create a sticky binder. My process is to use russet potatoes, grate them large with a food processor, and mix the potatoes with onion and possibly some cloves of garlic.

Draining the potatoes is always a task; I drain my processor container and then dump the potato-onion mixture into a tea towel, wrap the towel up, and twist like I am wringing the neck of an ancient king.

Add gluten in the form of AP or bread flour, mixed with eggs and seasoning, then mix until the egg, potato starch, and gluten produce a sticky cohesive “dough.”

Form 1/4 cupful of dough into thin 3-4″ pancakes and store on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to pull the last bit of moisture out.

From Wikipedia:

A latke (Yiddish: לאַטקע latke; sometimes romanized latka, lit. “pancake”) is a type of potato pancake or fritter in Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine that is traditionally prepared to celebrate Hanukkah. Latkes can be made with ingredients other than potatoes such as cheese, onion, and zucchini.

Some version of latkes goes back to at least the Middle Ages. They were probably made of cheese (probably either ricotta or curd cheese), fried in poppyseed oil or butter, and served with fruit preserves. These cheese latkes were the most common kind of latke in Ashkenazi communities until the 19th century when the potato arrived in eastern Europe. At the time, the cheapest and most readily available cooking fat was schmaltz, rendered poultry fat (usually from a goose or chicken), and due to Jewish dietary laws, which prohibit the mixing of meat and dairy products, alternatives to the cheese latke were introduced. These included buckwheat, rye flour, or other tubers endemic to the region, such as turnips. As the potato became popular in eastern Europe, it was quickly adopted to the point that today, latke is almost synonymous with potatoes.

The latke is traditionally prepared during the Hanukkah holiday to commemorate the miracle of the oil in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem lasting eight days.


A Kosher Classic
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Sauce, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Kosher
Servings 12 Laktes
Calories 104 kcal


  • 1 Food Processor Large Grating disk, or large box grater



  • 1 1/2 lbs Russet Potatoes Washed, Peeled, High Starch Potatoes
  • 1 ea Onion
  • 2 ea Egg Jumbo Beaten
  • 1/3 cup Ap Flour
  • Vegetable Oil for frying.
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste
  • 1 tsp Baking powder

Jalapeno Dill Sauce

  • 1 cup Sour Cream Full Fat Please
  • 2 Ea Jalapeno's Washed, Stemmed, Seeded
  • 2 tbsp Dill Weed Fresh Chopped
  • Salt and pepper To Taste

Horseradish Sauce

  • 8 oz Greek Yogurt
  • 2 tbsp Prepared Horseradish
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt


Jalapeno Dill Sauce

  • In a food processor with a small grating disc, grate the jalapenos.
  • Swap the grating disk for the mixing paddle, add the sour cream, dill, and mix
  • Taste and season
  • Cover and store in the refrigerator while making the latkes

Horseradish Sauce

  • Mix the Greek yogurt, horseradish, lemon juice, sugar, and salt.
  • Taste and Season
  • Cover and store in the refrigerator while making the latkes


  • Preheat the oven to 250
  • Using a food processor with a coarse grating disc, grate the potatoes and onion
  • Transfer the mixture to a clean tea towel and squeeze and wring out as much of the liquid as possible
  • Transfer the drained potato onion mixture into a large bowl.
  • Add the eggs, flour, salt, baking powder, and pepper, and mix until the flour is absorbed.
  • Scoop 1/4 cupful of the mixture and tightly pack into thin 3- to 4-inch pancakes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. 
  • Heat 1/4 inch vegetable oil or schmaltz in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Working in three batches, fry the latkes until deep golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side.
  • Remove to a rack set on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. 
  • Keep warm in the oven while you make the remaining latkes.


A note; the nutrition facts are based on average consumption.  Let’s be real here; no one eats, just one.  And most times, eat them directly from the frying pan…
Chag Sameach!


Calories: 104kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 2gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 58mgPotassium: 304mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 128IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Hanukah, Potato
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

  Filed under: Fried, Jewish, Quick, Sauce, Vegetarian

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