Latkes, the Yiddish word for potato pancakes, have a long history in Jewish tradition. According to history, the tradition is more about the oil used to fry the cakes than the potato pancakes themselves. The Maccabees freed the holiest Temple in Jerusalem from the takeover of King Antiochus. After ridding the temple of all idols, they lit the menorah with a little purified olive oil. It seemed there was enough to last only one day.
But then, a miracle happened. The lamp burned for eight days and nights. Just long enough to press fresh oil.
And thus, olive oil is a sacred tradition during Hannukah, the eight days and nights celebrated in 2015 from Sunday December 6 – Monday December 14. Any food fried in oil can be commemorative of the Miracle of the Oil, in fact donuts are a very popular Hannukah food, as are matzoh and other kinds of fritters.
This recipe takes the classic potato latke and adds in canned salmon for a protein-filled, full meal on its own. They can be served alone, or atop a bed of lettuce, or covered in applesauce, salsa, relish, or any other condiments you like. Feel free to experiment, there are no rules saying you have to use potatoes and potatoes only.
Grate in some onion, carrots, or beets. Try regular flour, chickpea flour, matzoh, or breadcrumbs as the binding agent. Fry them in olive oil, coconut, or even bake them in the oven. But no matter what you do, do make sure to use a high quality oil, share with your loved ones, and be thankful for all you have!
- 1 cup mashed potatoes
- 2 can salmon, drained
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 – 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Step 1: Either make mashed potatoes from scratch, use leftover mashed potatoes from a previous meal, or use boxed/instant potatoes to make approximately 1 cup cooked. Open the canned salmon and drain.
Step 2: Mix the potatoes, salmon, eggs, and seasonings in a bowl. Add breadcrumbs until the mixture is moist but able to stick together. Form into patties, this should make about 4-8 depending on thickness and size.
Step 3: Add 2 tbsp oil to a frying pan and heat to medium. Add the patties, working in batches if you made more than will fit. Leave some room between each latke so they can heat and cook evenly.
Step 4: Fry about 4-6 minutes, then flip. Each side should get a nice golden brown color. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain off any excess oil.
Top however you would like and serve! I covered mine in sriracha and homemade green tomato salsa and it was positively delicious.