Traditional latkes recipe Makes about 36 latkes

Ingredients:
• 2 large Russet potatoes (about 1 pound), scrubbed and cut lengthwise into quarters
1 large onion (8 ounces), peeled and cut into quarters
2 large eggs
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon fine sea salt), plus more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Oil (I use safflower or coconut)

Directions:

1. Using a food processor with a coarse grating disc, grate the potatoes and onion (you can also use a simple grater). Transfer the mixture to a clean dish towel and squeeze and wring out as much of the liquid as possible.

2. Working quickly, transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the eggs, flour, salt, baking powder and pepper, and mix until the flour is absorbed.

3. In a medium heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat, pour in about 1/4 inch of the oil. Once the oil is hot (a drop of batter placed in the pan should sizzle), use a heaping tablespoon to drop the batter into the hot pan, cooking in batches. Use a spatula to flatten and shape the drops into discs. When the edges of the latkes are brown and crispy, about 5 minutes, flip. Cook until the second side is deeply browned, about another 5 minutes. Transfer the latkes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and sprinkle with salt while still warm. Repeat with the remaining batter.

To modify the basic recipe, try these alternatives:

• You can also make latkes gluten-free by substituting the flour for rice flour or another gluten-free flour.

• Sweet potatoes make yummy latkes, just use 1 pound of grated sweet potatoes, and reduce the flour to 1/3 cup.

• Not a fan of frying? You can use an air fryer if you have one, or a waffle maker. Warm the waffle maker up, if you can set a temp, place it on medium. Spray with your choice of non-stick spray and put about ¼ cup of the latkes mix on the maker (usually fit 3-4 of them depending on the size). Cook for 4-6 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the maker and place in a warm oven to keep them hot.

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14. Crème Fraiche and caviar

15. Cheese: sliced, spreadable, curds, or whatever tickles your fancy

Jacob Thornton grew up in Pana, Illinois and was inspired to cook by his family. He earned his culinary chops while working under a classically trained chef at a local golf resort during high school and college.

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