Grandma Becky’s potato latkes

November 21, 2010
Author Notes

No other recipe quite matches up to the golden memories of our Grandmother’s potato latkes (this recipe is jointly contributed by Joan G and Apple Annie.) Grandma Becky left her family home in Krynki, Poland at the tender age of 16,(ca 1914) to join two of her brothers in the US. She was “smuggled out” through Hamburg to England where she sailed for Ellis Island. The photo was taken shortly after she arrived and she is wearing a fur hat and scarf from the "old country." When we knew her, cooking for family and friends was her greatest joy. Her latkes were food for the gods, and we gobbled them up as fast as she could fry them. Fortunately she made them frequently, not just at Hannukah. Our grandfather patiently grated the potatoes and onion for her on a box grater, and our parents joked that a tiny bit of his fingers were grated into the batter as well, a secret ingredient. She typically served the laktes to accompany roast chicken or pot roast, perhaps with homemade applesauce but no sour cream. She never used baking powder. This recipe faithfully reproduces Grandma’s ingredients but has been adapted for the food processor. —AppleAnnie

  • Serves 6
  • 7 potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal
  • 1 teaspoon salt (recorded as "a sprinkling of salt")
  • oil for frying
In This Recipe
  1. Peel potatoes and put in cold water to keep from browning. Shred the potatoes in a food processor. Remove from workbowl and transfer to another bowl.
  2. Cut the onion in quarters. Insert knife blade into processor and rough chop the onion. Add eggs, salt, matzo meal, and flour to onions in the work bowl and process until mixture is smooth.
  3. Add half of shredded potatoes to the egg-onion mixture in work bowl and process until smooth, taking care not to let the onions get too finely pulverized.
  4. Transfer the batter into the bowl with the rest of the shredded potatoes and mix.
  5. Heat the oil in the frying pan until a drop of water sizzles. Drop batter by spoonfuls and fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in moderate oven if necessary.
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