Potato latkes (AKA potato pancakes) are a deliciously crispy potato treat — typically served during Hanukkah — that are worth making at least once a year.
Potato latkes (AKA potato pancakes) are a staple during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Fried in oil, they are meant to remind us of the miracle that took place centuries ago. Even if you’re not Jewish, latkes are a deliciously crispy potato treat that are worth making at least once, maybe twice, a year. (Which is totally why I’m posting about them in May and not in November/December when Hanukkah usually is.)
Because latkes are usually made with onions, I had to swap out a few (okay ONE) ingredient to make them FAILSAFE. And I have to admit, I actually prefer them this way. The leeks add a nice touch of green and a very mellow flavor to the batch.
I will also say that having a food processor with a grating attachment makes a HUGE difference in the amount of work it will take to make potato latkes. Peeling and grating by hand is possible, and it’s how I learned how to make them, it will just add a significant amount of time to your prep work.
I’m also a big fan of pulsing the grated potatoes and leeks together a few times to make the potato pieces a bit smaller. I think it makes for a more compact pancake and more consistent cooking, otherwise the potato pancakes just remind me of fancy restaurant hash browns. If you enjoy that, then feel free to skip the step where you swap out the grating attachment for the blade and move straight on into squeezing the liquid out.
Speaking of squeezing the liquid out, absolutely under no circumstance should you skip that step. It’s annoying and creates a huge mess on your hands and in your sink but it is absolutely non negotiable. It helps your pancakes stay together and makes for a faster cook time.
Having said all of that, here’s my family’s tried and true recipe for potato latkes. Feel free to use whatever flour that works for you. I used my favorite all-purpose gluten free blend from Silvana’s Kitchen but you can also use regular all-purpose flour or chickpea flour.
Potato Latkes (AKA Potato Pancakes)
Potato latkes (AKA potato pancakes) are a deliciously crispy potato treat that are worth making at least once a year.
- 4 medium (or 2 large) white potatoes, peeled (or russet if you can do moderate sals)
- 1/2 cup leeks, chopped
- 1/3 cup flour (gluten free, regular, chickpea)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- Oil for frying (I used canola)
Using the grating attachment for your food processor, grate potatoes. Once the potatoes are grated, transfer to a bowl and swap the grater attachment for the regular blade. Put grated potatoes back into the food process and add your leeks. Pulse 5-6 times or until mixture gets a little smaller in size and leeks are incorporated. You may have to stir halfway through pulsing to get that to happen.
Remove the blade and take small handfuls of the potato and leek mixture in your hands. Squeeze hard (over the sink) and drain as much liquid from the potatoes as you can. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Continue draining the liquid in small handfuls until you have worked your way through the entire bowl.
Add remaining ingredients (flour, eggs, salt) to the mixing bowl and stir until everything is incorporated fully.
Heat a large frying pan (or two) over medium heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom about 1/4 of an inch. Once hot, spoon potato mixture in 2-3 tbsp drops into the pan and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Flip and cook for 4-5 minutes more. You want the potatoes to be light brown and crisp but not too dark or they won’t be failsafe.
Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and continue cooking latkes until the potato mixture is gone.
Serve with homemade apple or pearsauce, sour cream, or enjoy plain with a sprinkle of salt!
This recipe is FAILSAFE and RPAH Elimination Diet friendly. It’s also gluten free (depending on flour), dairy free, and low salicylate.