latke bar.

I created this recipe for my feature in last year's Feast Magazine December issue. Be sure to check it out.

Latkes are a staple for Hanukkah – frying food in oil represents and celebrates the eight days and nights that the oil lasted for the Maccabees, when there was only enough oil to last one day. In my family we always got creative with toppings for latkes: Applesauce and sour cream are traditional, but we would make eggs or salsa for ours. I’ve taken that a step further with toppings like spicy cilantro-lime-avocado sauce, sunny-side-up eggs and a dip with cream cheese, Greek yogurt and fresh dill.

Serves 6

Spicy Cilantro-Lime-Avocado Sauce

  • 2 avocados, sliced

  • ²⁄3 cup Greek-style yogurt

  • 2 Tbsp adobo sauce

  • juice of 3 limes

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 cups destemmed fresh cilantro


  • 2 lbs russet potatoes, grated

  • cold water

  • ½ yellow onion

  • ½ cup matzo meal*

  • 1 egg

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 cup olive oil

*Matzo meal is crumbled fine matzo. You can buy it at some grocery stores, or you can make it at home by processing matzo. One piece of matzo yields about ½ cup matzo meal.


  • spicy cilantro-lime-avocado sauce (recipe included)

  • applesauce

  • sour cream

  • sunny-side-up eggs

  • salsa

  • cream-cheese sauce (combine ½ cup cream cheese, ½ cup Greek-style yogurt and 2 Tbsp small-diced fresh dill) with cured salmon

Spicy Cilantro-Lime-Avocado Sauce

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, add all ingredients, and process until thoroughly combined and smooth. Use a rubber spatula to scrape sides of bowl if ingredients are sticking. Pour into a bowl; refrigerate until ready to serve.


  1. In a large bowl, place grated potatoes and cold water, and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rest for 10 minutes. Drain potatoes, squeezing them dry with a clean towel or cheesecloth to remove all liquid.

  2. In the bowl of a food processor, blend onion until a paste forms. In a large bowl, mix dried potato shreds (including remaining starch left in cheesecloth) with onion paste. Add matzo meal, egg, salt and pepper. Use an ice cream scoop to portion potato mixture, and then flatten each into discs; each should be about the size of your palm. Before frying latkes, prepare a cooling rack with a kitchen towel or paper towels underneath to soak up excess oil.

  3. In a skillet over medium heat, heat oil until hot. Place 1 latke in oil to test temperature; you should hear it sizzle but not pop. Cook latkes until golden brown on 1 side, then flip and let cook until golden on other side; each side should take 3 to 4 minutes. Remove latkes onto prepared cooling rack. Top latkes with whatever toppings or combination of toppings you desire.

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