The Festival of Lights is nearly upon us, and you know what that means: dreidels, menorahs, and, most importantly, latkes! Served crispy, never greasy, these souped-up tater tots are the ultimate comfort food—a Hanukkah tradition worth repeating throughout the year. In this version, our favorite food contributor, Diana Yen, combines freshly grated potatoes with capers and leeks for an unexpectedly briny, flavorful take on the classic pancake that will have guests coming back for more. Bonus: whatever you don't eat at dinner makes for a surprisingly elegant breakfast the next morning. Try them on Tuesday for the holiday's first night—just don't blame us when your entire family comes calling.
-- 1½ pounds Idaho russet potatoes
-- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
-- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
-- 1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
-- 1 large egg, beaten
-- 2 tablespoons capers
-- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-- canola or vegetable oil, for frying
-- chive sour cream (recipe follows)
Using a box grater, grate the potatoes into a strainer. Toss with 1 teaspoon salt and let sit for 10 minutes. Squeeze or press out as much of the liquid as possible. Transfer the grated potatoes to a large bowl.
In a skillet over medium heat, saute the leeks in olive oil until they turn soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add them to the bowl with the potatoes. Add the egg, capers and pepper, mixing well.
Heat a thin layer of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, scoop ¼ cup of the potato mixture into the pan. Flatten each pancake gently with a spatula. Fry until the pancakes are crisp and golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Serve with sour cream.
Chive Sour Cream
-- 1 cup sour cream
-- ¼ cup chives
-- freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, chives and pepper. Set aside.