Hanukkah Latkes with Fresh Cheese

Hanukkah has begun! The time of year when candles are lit for 8 days, chocolate gelt is won with the spin of a dreidel, and Latkes are made. Latkes are the fried potato pancakes that are a Hanukkah staple. This year we did a little experiment in the kitchen, adding in some Green Dirt Farm Fresh cheese to our Latke recipe. The result was traditional Latkes with a little kick of extra flavor. Any flavor of Fresh cheese will work for this recipe, but we chose Garlic and Peppercorn.

Latkes made with Garlic & Peppercorn Fresh cheese.

This recipe has been adapted from Martha Stewart. To see the original, click here.

4 large russet potatoes, peeled
1 small white onion, finely grated
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup beer
4 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 Tbsp coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 oz. (1 tub) Green Dirt Farm Fresh Cheese
Vegetable oil for frying

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Grate potatoes in long strips, using smooth strokes to run potatoes across grater into a large bowl of ice water. Using a strainer or slotted spoon, transfer potatoes, reserving liquid, to another large bowl lined with a clean kitchen towel or cheese cloth; gently squeeze dry.

2. Set reserved liquid aside for 10 minutes to allow starch to sink to the bottom; carefully pour liquid from the bowl, reserving milky residue (potato starch) and discard. Transfer potatoes back to bowl with potato starch.

3. Add grated onion to bowl; stir in eggs, beer, 3 Tbsp of flour, salt, and pepper. Mix together using your fingers to mix in the ingredients. Add the Fresh cheese, thoroughly mix into the potatoes. Slowly add 1 Tbsp of flour a little bit at a time as you mix in the cheese.

4. Line a baking sheet with paper towels; set aside. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat 1/4-inch of oil. Spoon 1 or 2 tbsp of potato mixture per pancake into a skillet. Make a few at a time, being careful they don’t run into each other.

5. Fry on both sides until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to prepared baking sheet to drain. Keep warm in the oven while preparing the others.

If you do not keep kosher, we highly recommend frying your Latkes in goose or bacon fat (particularly if you have some leftover from Thanksgiving). Serve hot with applesauce, crème fraîche, or sour cream. Enjoy! Happy Hanukkah!