Don't Make This Hanukkah Latke Mistake, Says Andrew Zimmern

When it comes to making latkes, you have your work cut out for you. According to The Nosher, anyone looking to make this classic meal might accidentally end up with a kitchen disaster if they wring out all the liquid from the potatoes, use olive oil to fry with, forget to season the latke batter, or end up crowding the pan. While these issues can easily throw off your latke game, Andrew Zimmern has another tip that can make a huge difference if you want to whip up a batch of these crispy treats this Hanukkah. 

Through Zimmern's website, the award-winning chef and Travel Channel star released a video that gave the full latke rundown and explained in-depth exactly how to make the dish. Zimmern explains that the basic idea behind the recipe works because most any starchy potato, once grated, should easily stick together once it hits a hot pan and should crisp up nicely. While most potatoes should theoretically get the job done, some spuds make an even nicer latke than others. The chef recommends Yukon Golds or "a baking potato like an Idaho" potato. While these varieties have enough starch, Zimmern recommends against one specific type of potato.

The one potato to avoid when you make latkes

If you want to fry up a batch of winning latkes this year, Andrew Zimmern warns against using "young, little red new potatoes," per the chef's website. These varieties contain the least amount of starch, making them less than ideal for your latke purposes. These types of potato may fall into the category of waxy as opposed to starchy, and won't hold up in the pan (via Neff Kitchen). Other poor latke candidates include potato varieties like the Dutch Cream, Kipfler, Nadine, Nicola, Patrone, Southern Gold, Pink Fir Apple, and the Purple Congo.

If you want to make some great potato pancakes for Hanukkah this year, make sure to follow Zimmern's advice for a solid start to your latke recipe. With a bit of practice and the right ingredients, you can transform any humble potato into a crispy, golden delight anyone can get behind. Just make sure to keep an eye out for starchy potatoes on your next grocery run for a greater guarantee of success.

Zimmern's other tips for Hannukah latkes

When it comes to making perfect latkes, there's more to consider than just the potatoes you choose. We all know that latkes are different than your average hash brown. But, how do you ensure that what you make are, in fact, latkes instead of just shredded potatoes? According to Zimmern, this is all about what you incorporate in addition to your perfect potato. For Zimmern, egg, matzo meal, and onion are some of the ingredients that really thicken his latkes and add to their flavor.

There are plenty of potato pancake recipes out there that will yield delicious results. That is as long as you have the right potatoes, of course. For Zimmern, though, the best latke is one that has both crispiness and softness. He likes to achieve this perfect texture by combining both riced or mashed potatoes with grated potatoes. This will give you a soft, thick, starchy inside with components of crunchy, intact potato pieces. With the help of the right starchy potato, you'll have the ideal potato pancakes for any Hanukah celebration.