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Recipe and instructions provided by Elyse Chazan | Fulcrum Mom

WHEN YOU NEED a delicious recipe and want it to taste like home, there’s only one person who can help. Mom. Here, news editor Andrew Ikeman’s mom shares her recipe for delicious and festive potato pancakes.

This is a really simple recipe—there are only six ingredients. The magic happens in the frying pan. That’s why we make latkes for Hanukkah; to see if the miracle of the oil will once again give our people hope in dark times.


6 large potatoes, (no peeling required)
1 large onion
5 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Oil for frying

A note on the oil: Use canola or another high- temperature vegetable oil. It doesn’t matter how much you have on hand—at some point you’ll panic and think you’re not going to have enough to finish the frying. Have faith.

Grate the potatoes and onion into a large bowl and set aside. You can use a food processor with the grating tool, or a low-tech hand-grater. Whisk together the eggs and spices in a separate bowl. Add to the larger bowl of potatoes and mix well. (Easy peasy so far, right? Here’s where it gets death-defying and young news editors get sent to the other side of the room.)

In a large frying pan, the heavier the better, pour about two inches of oil into the pan and heat on high. Test the oil to make sure it’s hot enough by sprinkling a drop of water into the oil. If it’s hot enough, you’ll have some sizzle action.

Carefully spoon the latke mixture into the hot oil. Watch out for splatters. The smaller the latkes are, the easier they are to turn. Brown on both sides, then let them drain well on paper towels. Add more oil to the pan and wait for it to heat up as the level drops. Do not put your finger in to test the depth of the oil. Seriously. Worry if you’ll have enough oil—it’s part of the Hanukkah ritual.

These are best eaten as they come out of the pan, but will tolerate being kept warm in an oven at about 350 degrees. Makes about 30 small latkes, though I’ve never actually gotten an accurate count. The latkes thieves sneak them right out of the layers of paper towel while I am still risking life and limb playing with hot oil. Enjoy as a side dish with sour cream or plain low-fat Greek yoghurt and applesauce.