When Jill Silander was growing up, she and her mother would always make latkes together for the first night of Hanukkah. That’s also the night the family would get gifts. “We didn’t get a gift every night,” Jill told me, “only on the first night. With three kids, you can imagine my parents didn’t need to buy 24 presents for Hanukkah when Christmas was around the corner. Yes, I was one of those lucky Jewish kids who got to celebrate both!”
Today, Jill still makes latkes for her family, including her husband who is not Jewish and happens to be a chef and their young son. “My husband likes them with sour cream and sometimes with ketchup,” she said. “Ever since I can remember I have always eaten them with applesauce and wouldn’t eat them any other way!”
She’s made them so often, Jill said she usually just “throws things together in a bowl and hope it works.” I’m happy to say she found a good recipe that she’s used in the past and was kind enough to share it with us. Whether you eat them with applesauce or sour cream or ketchup, I’m sure they’ll be delicious.
And by the way, Jill is the development director for a wonderful organization in Maine called Shalom House. It provides housing and community-based services for people with serious mental illness. She and her husband Karl also own the Bayou Kitchen on Deering Avenue in Portland. I’ll be hitting them up for one of their Louisiana inspired recipes in the near future.
- 2 cups peeled and shredded potatoes
- 1 tablespoon grated onion
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup oil for frying
- Place the potatoes in a cheesecloth and wring, extracting as much moisture as possible.
- In a medium bowl stir the potatoes, onion, eggs, flour and salt together.
- In a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot.
- Place large spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the hot oil, pressing down on them to form 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick patties.
- Brown on one side, turn and brown on the other. Let drain on paper towels. Keep warm in the oven until you have finished.
Makes about one dozen latkes.