How to throw a Latke Party for Hanukkah

You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy a good latke. If you’re like me, I’m sure you will agree that there’s nothing like a greasy, crispy and OH SO GOOD latke. This holiday treat is the “perfect party food”.

Come celebrate the eight days of Hannukkah with this amazing and unique latke spread. I’m going to give you some tips on how to make your latkes the talk of this years Hanukkah celebrations.

Ready to get your latkes ON?

The first thing I’m going to let you in on is this. No matter how tempted you are to make your latkes ahead of time, just don’t. There is good reason for this. Latkes have a very small window of time before they turn into mushkas. There is one thing you don’t want to end up with and that is a lousy bunch of latkes. The key to the perfect latke is serving them from frying pan to table as quickly as possible. My mom taught me this and she is one smart latke.

Here’s where your problems start to arise. Number one, you are dealing with potatoes and they tend to oxidize and turn brown really quickly. Not good. I’m not going to name names but I have known many of latke makers that “think” a weird coloured brownish black latke is just fine to eat. Trust me, it’s less than appetizing to look at let alone consume. Another tip, squeeze the life out of your potatoes so ensure that they are not starchy and wet. I do this in cheesecloth or a clean dish towel. One other thing. If you have salted your batter and turn to play with your dreidels you are going to end up with soggy latkes. Does anyone want to be known as a “the soggy latke maker’? I don’t think so.

So the first rule of hosting one of these parties is accepting the fact that you will not be seen by your guests until you emerge from the kitchen with your PERFECT latkes. There’s no time for games or chit chat. You are going to LATKE boot camp here.

Here’s what you can do ahead of time:

  • Chop/grate your onions.
  • Remove eggs from fridge and let them come to room temperature. 
  • Measure your matzo meal/flour.
  • Wash your potatoes but don’t peel them yet.
  • Set aside space for your latke making station. You will need a spot to mix your batter and cookie sheet with paper towels to drain the fried latkes on.
  • Make your latke toppings ahead of time. 
  • Set your Hannukkah themed tablescape with something pretty. I did two quick DIY’s. One with wooden letters, skinny wood dowels, Martha Stewart Craft paint, mini mason jars with ribbon, white sand and a glue gun.  I made two word displays ,one that spelled Hanukkah and another that spelled Latke Bar.  And the other DIY was customized white serving plates using non-toxic markers. 
  • Nominate a “sous latke chef” helper in the kitchen with you. They can assist with just about anything and are usually lucky enough to get first dibs on samples.

Now you’re ready to set up your latke bar. Place the fried latkes and large serving platters and surround them with all your toppings. You will probably need to get out of the way fast when the hordes of latke lovers descend upon the table.

From my home to yours, happy Hanukkah!

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