Latkes are fried potato pancakes and a quintessential Hanukkah food for Eastern European Jews. I've rarely met a latke I didn't like. As long as it's fresh and not too laden with oil (the result, typically, of under-heated oil), it's almost always delicious. Some prefer their latke eggy, thick and substantial, with the specific gravity of seat cushions. Others esteem latkes that are light, billowy, and full of crunch. We're neutral on this issue, but this week's recipe for leek latkes is decidedly in the camp of crisp. The leeks, holding less water than traditional onions, help in this regard, while also lending a more refined flavor and a bit of visual variety. Bring them to your next holiday party, and let this year's latke debate begin!
We've been itchin' to do this one all year. The latke is the epitome of Jewish European soul food – simple, satisfying, and ripe for debate. All agree that Hanukkah is the season for this delectable potato fritter, but then it starts. Should you call it a latke or chremslach? Should it be fluffy like a pancake, or dense like a torpedo? Is the onion essential or sacrilegious? Is a slight eggy flavor the sign of success or abject failure? Should the latke be served with sour cream or apple sauce, or in this land of plenty, both? Clearly these questions are too substantial and important to weigh here, but you may rest assured that the recipe below will yield the most authentic and delicious latke this side of Bubbe's house.