Hungry for Latkes? Cooks Share Tips for Hanukkah | NBC Chicago
Holiday Gift Guide 2015

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

Hungry for Latkes? Cooks Share Tips for Hanukkah

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen
    A cook at Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen cooks latkes before Hanukkah. Monday, Dec. 15, 2015

    When it comes to holidays, there's no better recipe than the one you grew up with.

    Same is true for latkes.

    So, tonight, when Hanukkah begins at sundown, folks around the globe will be firing up the frying pans to create the ultimate potato pancake.

    Some began cooking the Hanukkah delicacy even before the Jewish Festival of Lights began.

    "We cooked 6,000 yesterday," said Evan Bloom, who co-owns Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen in San Francisco with partner Leo Beckerman. "And we'll probably be making more."

    Cooks at Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen cooked 6,000 latkes before Hanukkah. Monday, Dec. 15, 2015
    Photo credit: Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen

    The secret to the Wise Sons latkes? "We try to keep it very simple," Bloom said, adding that the real trick is to squeeze any liquid from the potatoes after grating them, so that they taste "crispy, not soggy."

    And of course, he uses oil. Lots and lots of oil.

    And although schmaltz, the Yiddish term for rendered chicken fat, was recently touted in the New York Times as gaining a comeback, Bloom said he and his cooks tend to stick with regular cooking oil for their latkes.

    "We use schmaltz in a lot of things, like our chopped liver and matzo balls, but not in our latkes. There are so many vegetarians, and so many people are afraid of it."

    But there are all sorts of ways to make latkes. Here is a small round-up of some popular latke-making videos.

    From upscale (with Parmesan cheese, chives and Tabasco)...

    To India-inspired (with carrots and coriander)...

    Lest your Bubbe should see, she just sticks to the basics: potatoes, oil, flour, salt and pepper.