Today starts Hanukkah. It seems so early this year. I am not Jewish, however when I lived in Florida I had lots of Jewish friends and could always count on an invitation or two to dinner during Hanukkah. Always, always there were Latkas with applesauce and sour cream.
Fried food is traditionally eaten on Hanukkah in commemoration of the oil that miraculously burned for eight days when the Maccabees purified and rededicated the holy Temple in Jerusalem. Fried Potato Pancakes (called Latkes in Yiddish and Levivot in Hebrew) are the hands-down, mouth-open holiday favorite.
That was probably a little more than you wanted to know about all that. Bottom line, I celebrate anything that involves food, especially fried food.
For us country folks these are plain ole potato pancakes and we make them everytime we have left over mashed potatoes.
about 20 pancakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
about 1/4 to 3/4 cup all-purpose flour or matzo meal
Oil for frying (canola is recommended)
1. Peel potatoes. Place in a bowl of cold water so they won't turn brown.
2. When ready to prepare the latkas, drain the potatoes. Place potatoes and onions in a food processor fitted with a knife blade. Grate by hand if you want. Pulse until fairly smooth. Drain and squeeze mixture well.
3. Pour 1 inch of oil into a large, deep frying pan. Heat the oil over medium-high heat.
5. Carefully drop about 1/4 cup of the potato mixture into the hot oil.
6. Flatten the pancake slightly so the center will cook.
7. Fry for several minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through.
8. Drain on paper towels.
Don't forget to serve with applesauce and sour cream.