Potato latkes are one of my favorite parts of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights. I used to spend hours with my grandma, Florence, grating potatoes and frying them into pancakes for our family feasts. I think the whole street would smell like crispy potatoes when we were finally done. That being said, I don’t always have hours to spend in the kitchen these days! So, I created a recipe that tastes as good as the classic, but comes together in under 20 minutes thanks to store-bought shredded potatoes!
Fill a large heavy-bottomed skillet fitted with a deep-fry thermometer with 1/2 inch oil. Heat over medium heat to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and place a cooling rack on top.
Combine the potatoes, egg, flour, scallions, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl until the mixture holds together when squeezed in the palm of your hand.
Working in batches, scoop and press the potato mixture into a 1/4 cup measuring cup, then tap it out into your hand. Gently flatten the mixture into a patty, about 1/2 inch thick.
Carefully add the latkes to the skillet and fry until deeply golden brown on the edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and fry until deeply golden brown on the edges, about 3 minutes. Drain on the prepared cooling rack. Sprinkle with more salt if desired. Repeat with remaining latkes being sure to return the added oil to 350 degrees F temperature between batches. Serve warm, topped with sour cream and applesauce.
If refrigerated shredded potatoes aren’t available, feel free to use frozen shredded potatoes. Defrost them, then squeeze out all of the liquid before making the latkes.
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