Latkes are the best thing in the world, just the way they are. That's our starting premise, and we won't budge from it. However, we will say that even the best holiday snacks can always benefit from a push to be just a little bit better — especially when it comes to fried patties of crispy, shredded potato perfection.
Latkes are a process, and they'll leave your hair and half your home smelling like fried something-or-other, but the payoff is a celebration of light and joy and oil for your tastebuds. Here are five ways to make the eight days of Hanukkah as latke-licious as possible.
1. Add some color to your latke platter. Sweet potatoes make for slightly more nutritious latkes, and they also add color and pattern to a platter of potato pancakes. Same goes for carrots, parsnips, purple potatoes, and all other roots. All of the sudden, your plain beige plate just went technicolor.
2. Add scallions. Ditto for any alliums, really. If you've learned nothing else in the kitchen, you should know by now that a base of onion and garlic is the quickest route flavorful dishes — and heavenly smells in your kitchen. Latkes especially welcome crispy garlic and onion into their folds of potato shreds.
3. Yes, you can panko that. Every good latke delivers a bit of crunch, and panko breadcrumbs (though maybe not a traditional ingredient in your average Jewish kitchen) guarantee that crispy texture.
4. Mix in some cheese. Potatoes and cheese are a match made in heaven (See: Potato skins. Gratin. Poutine. Need we go on?) So it makes perfect sense that a latke would take well to some shredded sharp cheddar, crumbles of feta, or maybe even some Parmesan or Pecorino. Cheesy latkes make the perfect breakfast pairing with a couple fried eggs and smoked salmon: two more things that go well with cheese.
5. Swap out your bun. We're already well aquainted with the ramen burger and the monstrous, snaking lines of people who want one. It might be time, then, that a new burger bun replacement stepped up to the plate. So why not the latke? Two crispy potato latkes are just the thing for a gluten-free burger, breakfast sandwich, or really, anything you can think of to put between them. Don't believe us? Check out last year's Thanksgivingukkah double down for proof:
Have we mentioned that latkes are perfect?
This story was originally published on Food52.com: 5 twists on latkes
More from Food52...