Potato Pancakes Aren’t Just for Hanukkah or Limited to a Classic Potato Recipe

Tuesday 09th, December 2014 / 17:10 Written by
Potato Pancakes Aren’t Just for Hanukkah or Limited to a Classic Potato Recipe

Latkes Make a Great Addition to Any Table

Latkes Benedict- Latkes Sliders- Latkes Without Potatoes

Potato pancakes aren’t just for Hanukkah or limited to a classic potato recipe. Today’s versions include sweet potato, cauliflower, broccoli, guacamole, cheese and even tuna latkes, and Don Strange of Texas, Inc. has suggestions on how you can incorporate these fun twists on a holiday tradition into your year-round celebrations.


Usually made of grated potato, onion and egg, then fried in oil and served with sour cream or applesauce, potato pancakes may be topped with a variety of condiments, ranging from the savory (sour cream or cottage cheese) to the sweet (apple sauce or sugar), or they may be served ungarnished. Potato pancakes are sometimes made from mashed potatoes to produce pancake-shaped croquettes.


“Latkes are incredibly versatile. You can alter the way you serve them, the toppings you use or even the ingredients. There’s no rule that says you have to use potatoes or only serve them for Hannukah,” explains Di-Anna Arias, Vice President of Sales & Culinary Vision for Don Strange of Texas. “We serve a wide variety of latkes, including one recipe that uses beets and cauliflower, while another features crushed bacon, corn and green chiles, far from the traditional Jewish version.”


Latkes By Any Other Name . . .


Latkes, or potato pancakes, are not limited to one religion, country, holiday or celebration. Latkes are also known as:


  • United States: potato pancakes
  • Germany: kartoffelpuffers or reibekuchen
  • Hebrew: leviva
  • Poland: placki ziemniaczane
  • Ukraine: deruny
  • Hungary: tócsni (and at least a dozen other names)
  • Slovakia: nálečníky
  • Persia and the Czech Republic: bramborák or cmunda
  • Luxembourg: gromperekichelcher
  • Latvia: kartupeļu pankūkas
  • Lithuania: bulviniai blynai
  • Austria and Belarus: draniki
  • Ireland: boxty
  • Sweden: rårakor or raggmunk
  • Switzerland: Rösti

Arias has created a “Latke Benedict,” using a latke as the base for a poached egg with an artichoke hollandaise sauce on top. Intrigued? What about latke sliders, featuring pastrami and swiss cheese sandwiched between two miniature latkes, or with smoked salmon and crème fraîche delicately placed between the latkes? Or if you like the idea of the traditional applesauce topping, how about a twist that includes apple butter, carmelized apples and gorgonzola cheese?


“We’ve featured latkes made with parsnips and sweet potatoes—parsnips add a great flavor—and topped them with roasted figs, ricotta and honey.  Another favorite features Don Strange’s own smoked salmon brulée, served over latkes and topped with an Asian-inspired marinade. The flavor combinations you can try are endless,” says Arias.

A staple most closely identified with the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, the oil used in cooking the latkes commemorates the oil that miraculously burned for eight days when the Maccabees purified and rededicated the holy Temple in Jerusalem. But the potato aspect of the dish hasn’t always been tradition: before potatoes were common in the Old World, latkes were made from a variety of other vegetables, cheeses, legumes, or starches, depending on the available local ingredients, so today’s creative latkes dishes are actually a tie back to ancient times.

A Texas legend 60 years in the making, Don Strange of Texas has grown from humble beginnings as a family grocery store, then restaurant and San Antonio legend “The Party House, Inc.,” to an award-winning powerhouse that includes the Don Strange Ranch in Welfare, the corporate headquarters in San Antonio, the General Store in Waring, the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum on the River Walk, and The Settlement – Circa 1850, as well as donstrangemarket.com, the company’s online store selling Don Strange of Texas food and gifts to be delivered straight to your door.


Latke Eggs Benedict

DST Latkes Alert FINAL 9
Use Classic latke recipe. Use 2 Tbl of latke batter to add to the hot oil. Flatten latke in pan to make a 3 inch round. Add sliced smoked salmon and shaved artichoke heart, top with a perfectly poached egg and top with Hollandaise sauce.

Classic Potato Latkes

classic latkes
Makes 3 dozen
2 large Russet potatoes (about 1 pound), scrubbed and cut into quarters lengthwise
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into quarters
2 large eggs
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying (Safflower is best)

Latke Sliders

Use only 1 tsp of latke mixture and flatten as you place in hot oil. Use less oil in pan while cooking the smaller version.

latkes sliders

Grilled Vegetable Slider

Sautéed  Crimini mushroom

Grilled red bell pepper

Chipotle mayonnaise


Spinach Quesadilla Slider

Make a mixture of Ricotta cheese, chopped blanched spinach, grated Monterrey Jack and sautéed onion.  Add a fresh spinach leaf.  Place on small latke and top with another.


Brisket Slider

Use shredded brisket, your favorite bar b que sauce, purple and green cabbage slaw.
Using food processor with a coarse grating disc, grate the potatoes and onion. Transfer mixture to a strainer and using a paper towel on your hands, squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Working quickly so mixture will not discolor, add the eggs, flour, salt, pepper, and baking powder and mix until flour is absorbed. Heat a medium sized heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat,and pour in about ¼ inch of the oil. Once the oil is hot,
drop a heaping tablespoon of batter into the hot pan. Use a spatula to shape into rounds. When the edges are brown and crispy, flip. Cook the second side until it is golden brown, about five minutes. Continue cooking latkes in batches, adding more oil as necessary. Transfer the latkes to a plate lined with a paper towel and sprinkle with kosher salt.

Cauliflower Jalapeno Latkes with Cheddar Cheese

Cauliflower Jalapeno

To Classic latke recipe add

2 Tbl chopped pickled jalapeno

1/3  cup cooked cauliflower that has been grated

1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Garnish with chopped green onion

*Chef’s note: Add 1 tsp white vinegar to cooking water to retain white color of cauliflower


About Don Strange of Texas, Inc.


Celebrating more than 60 years in the event and catering industry, Don Strange of Texas, Inc. is known for world-class cuisine and unsurpassed style. The third generation family business is one of the most sought-after catering companies in the nation. From small, private dinners to memorable meals and parties welcoming thousands, the company helps people celebrate through fabulous events and flavors like no other. The Don Strange of Texas brand includes catering and private dining for any location or occasion, as well as food and goods available for purchase online through the Don Strange Market Place, www.donstrangemarket.com, and event facilities including the Don Strange Ranch in Welfare, The Waring General Store, the Ropes Course, the Zip Line at Zinc Hill, the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum, the Settlement – Circa 1850 and the entertaining cookbook, “Don Strange of Texas: His Life and Recipes.” To learn more, visit www.donstrange.com.


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