In the dark of winter, Hanukkah brings in the light…and the indulgent foods. Stuffing latkes with cheese is unquestionably gilding the lily, but isn’t that what Hanukkah’s all about? These latkes are crispy on the outside and ooey gooey on the inside.
The flour added to the potato batter helps the latkes hold their shape, as does freezing them for 10-15 minutes before frying. The cream cheese added to the shredded cheese mixture makes stuffing the latkes easier, and also offers a subtle tang that cuts the richness. Like all latkes, these are best eaten straight from the pan (plate optional).
Dig in and watch out for that satisfying cheese pull!
For the latkes:
- 3 lb Yukon Gold or russet potatoes
- 1 small yellow or white onion
- 3 eggs
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt, plus more as needed
- Oil (sunflower, avocado, canola or vegetable), as needed
For the cheese filling:
- ½ cup (4 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
- Line a large kitchen bowl with a clean kitchen towel or double-stacked paper towels. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Peel the potatoes and onion. Grate them using a box grater or the shredding attachment on a food processor. Add them to the lined bowl, and then squeeze out the excess liquid using the towel. Discard the liquid, then add the squeezed out potato and onion back into the bowl.
- Add the eggs, flour and salt to the potato mixture. Combine until evenly mixed; the potatoes should clump together when you press them into your hand.
- Take about 2 Tbsp of the potato mixture and press into a circle in the palm of your hand. Add 1 heaping tsp of the cheese mixture into the center of the potato mixture. Top with an additional Tbsp of potato mixture, and then form into a round latke shape, cheese encased on both sides by the potato. Place on the lined baking sheet, and continue to form the latkes with the remaining batter and cheese.
- Freeze the latkes for 10-15 minutes, but not for much longer. A short freeze will help them hold their shape more easily as you fry them. While the latkes are chilling, prepare for frying.
- Add about ¼” oil to a large, heavy bottomed skillet. Over medium-high heat, heat the oil until very hot – it should sizzle when a small amount of batter is added to the pan. Place a wire rack on a sheet pan, or line a sheet pan with paper towels.
- Add 3-5 latkes to the oil depending on the size of the pan; be careful not to overcrowd the latkes, which will cause them to steam instead of brown. Fry the latkes on each side until golden and crispy, about 3-5 minutes per side. Transfer to the wire rack to allow any excess oil to drain off the latke. Sprinkle with a little extra salt while they’re still hot.
- Serve warm with applesauce, sour cream or your desired toppings.