I think perhaps those who say it’s too expensive to eat properly don’t know about latkes. I don’t understand myself why it requires Hannukah to remind me of their delicious existence once a year.
There are plenty of ways to make a latke – you can mix your grated potatoes with egg or toss them with flour, or both. You could use sweet potatoes and spike them with curry powder.
But if what you’re after is a simple, crispy-edged potato cake, all you need to do is wash a thin-skinned potato (don’t bother peeling it), grate it onto a paper towel or two, sprinkle with salt, squeeze out as much moisture as you can (this will keep them crisp) and cook flattened spoonfuls in a hot pan, drizzled with oil.
A dab of butter doesn’t hurt. Who doesn’t love crispy potatoes with butter?
Flattening them with a fork until you can almost see through them will help them cook through without being gummy on the inside. You’d be amazed how many latkes come out of a single potato.
And there you go. Latkes to dip in ketchup or serve under eggs, Benny-style, or to dab with sour cream or crème fraîche and a curl of smoked salmon, if you want to get all fancy about it.