Recipe: Award-Winning Potato Pancakes (Latkes)

I don’t like to brag, but I did win first place for this recipe at a Hanukkah party held by the Chicagoland-area Messianic community. What won the judges over? “We loved the onions,” they said. Latkes are traditionally eaten with homemade applesauce or sour cream, but some prefer their latkes with ketchup.

  • 4 large potatoes, scrubbed and left unpeeled
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 small eggs or egg substitute
  • 1/3 cup flour (for Passover these can be made with 1/4 cup matzoh meal)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • vegetable oil
  • applesauce or sour cream (or ketchup)

Grate potatoes with the onion, either by hand (if you have the energy and the knuckles!) or in the food processor, using the steel blade. You should have a mixture the consistency of coarsely chopped apples for applesauce. Place potatoes and onions in colander to drain over sink. When drained, put mixture in large bowl and mix in eggs and flour (or matzoh meal). Season with salt and pepper. Pour vegetable oil to 1/4” depth in heavy skillet. Heat until very hot, but not smoking. Spoon batter into skillet, flattening pancakes into 3” ovals. Fry until deep golden brown and crisp on both sides. Repeat with all the mixture. Lay several newspapers on kitchen counter; cover with several paper towels and place cooked pancakes on this to drain. Serve immediately or if you have to, keep warm in a 400° oven (they will lose some of their crispness, but will taste just as good). Makes 24 latkes. Serve with applesauce or sour cream (or ketchup).

From The Jews for Jesus Family Cookbook by Melissa Moskowitz, where you can find more Hanukkah recipes—and even “Moishe Rosen’s Famous Chili.” Available at:


Rich Robinson | San Francisco

Scholar in Residence, Missionary

Rich has been on staff since 1978. He has served at several Jews for Jesus branches and was a pianist and songwriter with their music team, the Liberated Wailing Wall. He is now at the San Francisco headquarters, where he conducts research, writes and edits as the senior researcher. He is author of the books Christ in the Sabbath and The Day Jesus Did Tikkun Olam: Jewish Values and the New Testament, and co-author of Christ in the Feast of Pentecost. Rich received his M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 1978 and a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies and Hermeneutics from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1993.

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