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Helen Schwartz Latkes (A little late for Chanukah) Recipe

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This recipe for Helen Schwartz Latkes (A little late for Chanukah), by , is from The Materials Science Team Cookbook Project, one of the cookbooks created at We'll help you start your own personal cookbook! It's easy and fun. Click here to start your own cookbook!

Ryan Haggerty


2 Large Russet Potatoes
1 Large Yellow Onion
1 Egg
Kosher Salt
"Some" Matzo Meal
Vegetable Oil
Sprig of rosemary (optional)
Sour Cream (optional)
apple Sauce (optional)

Step 1) Peel potatos and slice ends off of the onion
Note: Save the ends of the onion, you will need them later
Step 2) Grate the potato and the onion a into a big bowl
For some reason these come out better for me if I grate them by hand, but it is risky business for your knuckles. Use a food processor if you aren't feeling brave.
Step 3) Drain Excess liquid
Step 4) Dust the top of the mixture with matzo meal
Step 5) Add an egg for binding
Step 6) Salt to taste. Go light here, you can always add more after you taste the first latke. Unfortunately the size of the potatos vary too much to give a good read on how much salt to add here.
Step 7) Mix it all up until a consistency is reached such that you can scoop it onto a spoon and it stays on, but comes off with a little shake. You will need to do this over hot oil in a bit, so make sure it is right. If the mixture is too runny add some more matzo meal. A little goes a long way so only add a bit at a time. The mixture should be a bit looser than mashed potatoes.
Step 8) Heat up about a inch of oil at medium heat in a heavy bottom skillet or pan. Place the end of the onion, reserved earlier, in the oil while heating. When the onions reach golden brown you will know that the temperature oil is hot enough. Side benifit is the onion will flavor the oil. Sometimes I will also add a sprig of rosemary at this point to flavor the oil, but this is optional.
Step 9) Using a slotted spoon, place 2 to 3 scoops of the latke mixture into the oil. They should not cook too fast. If they turn brown in less than 3 minutes, turn down the temperature. Turn the latkes over when they turn golden brown. Only 1 turn should be necessary.
Step 10) Place latkes grate to drip off excess oil
Step 11) Evaluate. Making latkes is a bit of an art. Evaluate the first batch and adjust.
If they are too thin and runny - add some matzo meal
If they are too thick - add a little water
If they are too oniony - add another potato
If they are not cooked in the middle - lower the temperature of the oil
Step 12) Make the rest of the latkes. The second batch will be better than the first and the last batch will be the best.
Step 13) Eating latkes is meant to be social, gather in the kitchen and eat them while they are hot. Serve them with sour cream or apple sauce

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
12-15 latkes
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
20 minutes
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
When I was a kid, my best friend, Mike Schwartz, lived across the street. Every Chanukah his dad, Joel, would make latkes and tell us the story of the festival of lights. I loved them and always made sure I was around. 12 years ago, Joel called me up and told me he wanted to pass on his great-great grandmother's recipe, and sent me the Helen Schwartz Latke recipe. Even though I am not Jewish, I celebrate Chanukah every year, making latkes while I tell my kids the story of the festival of lights.




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