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Dinner

vegetarian

Potato pancakes in process in a kitchen

Potato Latkes

Each December, I look forward to making potato pancakes (called “latkes” in Yiddish) with the kids who attend my cooking classes. Because I am not Jewish, I rely on online resources and books from our local library to help me share the story of Hanukkah. As we shred the potatoes, I invite everyone in the class to share how they celebrate the winter holidays. Everyone loves to share their traditions, and I learn so much about each child.


While we chat, the kids follow the easy steps of this recipe. They especially love squeezing the water out of the shredded potatoes and onions. After that step, the batter is made easily. Frying is the traditional way to make latkes, but I prefer to oven roast them for a safer and easier experience. I want to be present for every single moment of their precious storytelling.

40 mins

SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

1 pound russet potatoes (1-2 potatoes)

1 small yellow onion, peeled

1 large egg

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/2 cup vegetable oil


Equipment:

1 heavy non-stick rimmed baking sheet

Clean kitchen towel (preferably a tea towel)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Peel the potatoes, then coarsely grate them with the onion using a box grater. Place potato and onion on a clean tea towel and pull up the edges around the mixture. Twist the towel to squeeze the water out of the mixture over the sink.

Transfer potato mixture to a bowl and mix in egg, salt, baking powder, and flour.

Fill the baking sheet with 1/2 cup oil and carefully place the pan in the oven for 10 minutes to heat the oil. Wearing oven mitts, remove the pan from the oven.

Drop the latke batter by the 1/4-cupful onto the baking sheet, spacing about 1-1/2 inches apart and flatten them with a spoon. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bottoms are crisp and golden.

Carefully remove pan from the oven and flip latkes. Place pan back in the oven and cook until latkes are crisp and golden brown all over, about 10 minutes more.

Remove pan from the oven and transfer latkes to a large platter lined with paper towels. Serve immediately with sour cream or applesauce, if desired.

COOKING TOGETHER

KIDS CAN:

  • Peel and shred the potatoes and onions
  • Squeeze out the water
  • Crack the egg and make the batter

GROWN-UPS CAN:

  • Manage the cooking—be careful with the hot oil!
A photo of Cheryl.

Cheryl Knecht Muñoz

Cheryl is the Founder and Owner of Sugar Beet Schoolhouse, a cooking school for kids and their families in River Forest, IL. As a chef, instructor, and working mom, she is passionate about growing, cooking, and sharing good food together.

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