Growing up in Brooklyn, Suzi would travel to her grandmother’s apartment. She would climb the staircase to the third floor, her hand on the wall and not the handrail. If the wall was warm, her grandmother was making latkes. That made a young granddaughter most happy.

You can serve these with applesauce, but I prefer a little salt and freshly ground pepper. And maybe a dash of hot sauce. Hot sauce heresy I suppose but I grew up in Portland, not Brooklyn.

Latkes are dear to many cultures. Jewish of course. But also in Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Baltic States, Russia, Poland and the Ukraine. It is the official national dish of Belarus. The recipe here is basic, classic, and delicious. One bite and you’ll understand the world appear for “simple” potato pancakes.

Suzi’s Grandmother’s Latkes

Yield: serves 4-6


  • 6 potatoes, skinned and then grated
  • 2 small onions, grated
  • 1 old Kaiser roll, grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • Vegetable oil for frying


Heat a cast iron pan with a shallow layer of oil. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Begin when the oil is hot. Add all the ingredients [potatoes through eggs] into a bowl and mix with your hands. Use about 1/3 cup of mixture and form a thin flat patty. Fry them four at a time, turning once. You want deep brown color, and, yes, blackened is fine [as you can see!]. Keep the cooked ones warm in the oven while you make them all.

Source: Suzi’s Grandmother

 Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/2.8 for 1/125th second at ISO‑3200