Zomg it’s almost Hanukkah already! Any earlier and I feel like we would have come dangerously close to reliving the Thanksgivukkah mash-up of 2013 all over again. Luckily I feel like having this week free of any feast-driven holidays has allowed us to create space for all of the latkes and sufganiyot that we’re about to eat… but who am I kidding, the entire holiday season is a feast-driven holiday?! And so is the entirety of pregnancy! Ok, this is gonna be great.
I’m cutting no corners this Hanukkah and following all of the rules for good Hanukkah food:
I will not let impatience get the best of me and I will let the oil heat up completely before frying anything.
I will let the potatoes sit with their salt for at least half an hour to allow the moisture to escape, for the sake of an extra crispy latke.
I will let them get appropriately browned!! Extra crispy!! Ugh, this always takes more time than I want it to, but it’s gonna be worth it.
I will not go the route of frying store bought biscuit dough and calling it sufganiyot. I’m thinking of going a chocolatey brioche route this year, maybe chocolate and strawberry??
I’m so excited to be able to use Eggboy’s menorah again and, oh gosh, I just got emotional thinking about how this time next year we’ll be lighting the candles with little Poppy Seed. I can already see the Eight Days of Baby Books happening.
Ok before I get ahead of myself, I’m gonna talk about these latkes. They’re basically an amped up version of the classic latkes that I typically make and they are sooo good. Flavor-wise, I’ve added garlic and scallions (to an already onion-y mixture) and paired them with a caramelized onion sour cream situation that’s just like French onion dip. Texture-wise, I’ve replaced my standard flour binder with panko breadcrumbs for a thicker heartier texture. I find it helps these latkes fry up more like hockey pucks, which is a good thing because we live in hockey country. I supposed you could also use matzo meal!
And since I feel like it’s been a while since we talked latkes, let’s review some tips for prepping them ahead if you’re planning on hosting a big party this year:
-For the most low maintenance route, follow the below directions but instead of transferring to a wire rack or paper towel as written, transfer the latkes in a single layer to a sheet pan covered in foil. Let cool and refrigerate for up to two days or freeze for up to a few weeks. The foil is so that they retain that excess oil and you want them to do that so that when you reheat them on that pan (in a hot oven, 400º or 425º should do), the excess oil lightly re-fries them.
-For a slightly higher maintenance route, follow the below directions as written, taking them out of the oil just before they get to be optimum goldenness. Let cool and refrigerate for up to two days. And then when you’re ready to serve, simply fry them again. They’ll fry up faster and they’ll be super crispy because twice fried latkes are a very good thing.
-The garlic and onion sour cream can totes be made a day in advance.
garlic and onion latkes with garlic and onion sour cream
makes 20 latkes
for the latkes:
2 1/2 lbs russet potatoes
2 medium yellow onions
4 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
4 large eggs
2 tb lemon juice
2/3 c (40g) panko breadcrumbs
4 stalks scallions, chopped
Flavorless oil, for frying
for the garlic and onion sour cream:
2 tb olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c (240g) Our Family sour cream
1/2 tsp onion powder
scallions, for topping
Using the shredding attachment on a food processor (or mandoline), shred the potatoes, onions, and garlic. Line a colander with 2 layers of cheese cloth and set it over a bowl or in the sink. Add the potatoes/onions/garlic to the cheese cloth and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 30-45 minutes. Gather up the edges of the cheesecloth and use your hands to squeeze out any excess moisture.
In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, lemon juice, a few turns of black pepper, and the breadcrumbs and add the potato mixture. Stir in the scallions.
In a large skillet, heat 1/4” of oil over medium-high heat, until shimmering. It’s ready when a strand of potato added to the oil immediately starts to sizzle. Use an ice cream scoop to add blobs of the mixture to the oil, spacing them out so as not to crowd the pan. Press the scoops down lightly with a spatula to get 1/2” thick patties. Fry until golden brown on both sides, a few minutes per side. Transfer to a wire rack or paper towel and sprinkle with salt or flaky salt. Repeat with the remaining mixture, adding more oil to the pan as needed.
for the garlic and onion sour cream:
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium and add the onion, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and sugar. cook, stirring, until golden brown and caramelized, about 30-40 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Let cool and then stir with the sour cream, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, onion powder, and a few turns of black pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with a sprinkle of chopped fresh scallions.
p.s. tune into this weekend’s #girlmeetsfarm for brussels sprout latkes, lefse, pastrami meatballs, speculoos sheet cake, and marzipan chocolate bars!