Creamy in the middle with a supercrispy exterior, my ideal latke is basically a thin layer of mashed potatoes wrapped in Potato Sticks. What’s not to love?
In addition to everything about their flavor and texture, my favorite part about latkes is their versatility. They can be a side dish or the main event.
Sign up for the Notes from the Test Kitchen newsletter
Our favorite tips and recipes, enjoyed by 2 million+ subscribers!
Their versatility is on full display at my family’s annual Hanukkah Harry party. (That’s a gift exchange, not a celebration of Jon Lovitz’s character on SNL.)
My brother prefers applesauce or sour cream on his latkes. I pile on both. My dad sprinkles sugar on his. My mom finds something in the kitchen (chives, caramelized onions, smoked paprika) to mix into her sour cream and dollops it on top. My sister and her husband pair theirs with cocktails and insist we call it a “vodka and latke” party.
And that doesn’t even cover the other food at the party, which varies year to year. Some years we just stick with latkes and a variety of toppings. Others we put together a whole spread where latkes are the featured side dish. Deciding what to make is part of the fun.
If you're planning your latke menu for Hanukkah, here are some ways to dress them up and some other dishes to consider making. You really can’t go wrong.