Ask A Washington DC Chef: Best Latke Recipes For Hanukkah

November 20, 2013 7:00 AM

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Crispy, satisfying latkes are one of the best aspects of the holiday season…especially when they come with sweet applesauce and tangy sour cream. Although they are available in various restaurants in DC, sometimes it is more fun to make them at home. Here are a few latke recipes from some of the best chefs in DC, complete with directions so you can enjoy them with family and friends, fresh off the skillet.

Chef Todd Gray
818 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 331-8118

Chef Gray’s Yukon Gold and Sweet Potatoes Latkes


  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup canola oil


Grate the Yukon Gold and sweet potatoes on the large-mesh side of a box grater or in a food processor. With your hands, squeeze out any liquid and transfer the potatoes to a medium-sized bowl. With the same grater, grate the onion into the bowl with the potatoes. Add the eggs, matzo meal, thyme, salt and pepper. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix the ingredients together until they are well blended. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Heat a 12-inch nonstick sauté pan over high heat; add 1/4 cup of the oil and heat until it begins to smoke. Working in batches to cook 3 cakes at a time, shape the potato mixture into 5-inch round cakes about 1/2-inch thick, adding each to the pan as you do so. Lower the heat to medium and cook the cakes without moving them until brown on one side—about 4 minutes. Turn them over and cook until the other side is brown—about 4 minutes more. Remove the cakes from the pan and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of oil in the pan and shape and cook the remaining potato mixture. When the first batch of latkes has drained, transfer them to a serving plate and keep warm in the oven. Serve with the topping of your choice: crème fraîche, freshly grated horseradish, salmon caviar, sour cream and applesauce or fresh or frozen cherries.

Related: Best Apple Pie In Washington DC

Jacquie Castaldo
Black Market Bistro
4600 Waverly Ave.
Garrett Park, MD 20896
(301) 933-3000

Chef Jacquie Castaldo’s Crispy Potato Latkes


  • 5 baking potatoes, peeled, shredded and squeezed dry
  • 1 onion finely diced, sautéed just to soften
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter or oil for frying


Mix all of the ingredients together. Drop by small handfuls onto a hot griddle. Cook until golden, then flip. Finish cooking until crispy. Serve with applesauce and sour cream.

Related: Passover Recipes From Washington DC Chefs

Star and Shamrock Tavern & Deli
1341 H St. N.E.
Washington, DC
(202) 388-3833

Star & Shamrock Latkes 


  • 2 large/jumbo russet potatoes, shredded
  • 1 extra large egg, whisked
  • 1 small onion, diced finely
  • 1/8 cup matzo meal
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • Dash minced garlic, very finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, roughly chopped


Whisk egg in a small bowl. Combine all remaining ingredients in large bowl, add whisked egg and mix together lightly to desired texture. Form into proper size and shape and lightly pan fry or flash fry in deep fryer, until golden brown and lightly crisp. Serve with side of beet-horseradish crème and drunken apple chutney.

Beet-Horseradish Crème 


  • 1 cup crème fraîche (sour cream may be substituted)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons horseradish with beet
  • 1 tablespoon pickled beet juice


Combine all ingredients well, refrigerate an hour or more until serving.

Drunken Apple Chutney


  • 1 large ripe tart apple
  • 2 tablespoons Manischewitz concord grape wine
  • 2 tablespoons clover honey
  • 1 tablespoon Jameson Irish whiskey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Dash of homemade rhubarb syrup


Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix well until brown sugar dissolves. Refrigerate until serving, a half hour minimum.

Priya Konings is a freelance writer and restaurant critic in Washington D.C. Her work can be found at