Best known as a traditional food of Hanukkah, latkes are too good to eat just eight nights a year. Made from grated potato and onion (young kitchen helpers will enjoy feeding the ingredients into the food processor) and fried in vegetable oil until crispy, this hash browns-like side dish tastes great served with the customary sour cream or applesauce, or even -- for those not sharing a table with their Jewish grandmother -- a dollop of ketchup.
Grate the potatoes and onions in a food processor using a medium-size shredding disk.
Wrap a third of the grated potatoes and onions in a clean tea towel and wring out as much moisture as possible. Removing the excess water helps reduce splattering during frying and results in firmer, better-tasting latkes. Empty the towel into a separate bowl and repeat the process with the remaining potatoes, using a clean, dry section of the tea towel each time.
Add the salt and pepper to the mixture. Toss to evenly distribute.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs with a fork, then pour them over the potatoes and stir to combine. Set the mixture aside, covered with plastic wrap.
Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, drop 3 to 4 mounds of the potato mixture -- an ice-cream scoop works well for this -- into the skillet. Flatten the mounds with a fork or spatula and fry each side until nicely browned, about 5 minutes per side.
Serve the latkes immediately with sour cream or applesauce (or keep them warm on a baking sheet in a 300º F oven). Makes about 10 latkes.
Per latke: Calories 142 • Total Fat 6.7g • Saturated Fat .75g • Cholesterol 42mg • Sodium 255mg