Tomorrow is the beginning of Hanukkah. The word Hanukkah is Hebrew for dedication. This eight day holiday remembers the re-dedication of the temple after Judah the Maccabee drove the Greeks from the temple in the holy land. When the faithful Jews went to light the temple menorah, they found only one cruse of olive oil, not enough for the ritual of purity. But they lit the menorah and the miracle of it burning for the full eight days is the foundation of the beautiful Jewish celebration.
Traditionally, fried foods, like latkes (Yiddish for the Hebrew word livivot) and sufganiyot (jelly donuts), are eaten as a reminder of the miracle of the oil.
I am not Jewish, so I’m not sure how authentic my recipe is. I’ve listened and watched Jewish friends as they prepare for the holiday, so I hope it’s pretty close. I do know they taste pretty good!
Are you ready to makes some tasty latkes?
What you need:
- 5-6 cups of grated potato (I prefer to use russets)
- 1 cup finely minced onion
- 4 Tablespoons matzo meal
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon of pepper
** NOTE: While grating the potatoes put them in cold water to help prevent them from turning pink. This color change is a natural chemical reaction to the oxygen in the air. Although it doesn’t change the flavor in any way, it can change the appearance of the final product.
How to Do it:
First, mince the onion and set it aside.
Grate the potatoes (see note above). When they are all grated, drain them in a colander.
After removing the water, place them on a clean dish towel and ring them out, removing as much moisture as possible. You may have to do this several times.
Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Allow it to sit for a few minutes so the matzo meal absorbs any excess moisture.
Heat some olive oil in a large skillet. Form the potatoes into patties and fry on medium and brown them on both sides (about 5 minutes on each side).
Drain on paper towels and salt them a little.
Serve with applesauce and sour cream.
Makes about 4 servings of three pancakes
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