Hanukkah was over a month ago, but it's always a good time for latkes. I make them once a year, every year, and always promise myself I'll make them more often, but it never happens. Which is a good thing, in some ways, as they're completely addictive and you can't eat just one. I have a rule when I make latkes - a taste testing rule. The first 3 latkes in the pan are the test batch. Therefore, one of the test batch latkes must be taste tested (with sour cream, of course) before I continue and fry the rest of the latkes. Then halfway through the entire batch of latkes another latke must be tested (with sour cream) - just to be sure that the oil is still hot enough and the latkes are crispy enough. Assuming all is well, the rest of the latkes are fried and set to drain on paper towels. But at that point I need to sit down and really taste test another one - after all, I just finished cooking so shouldn't I reward myself with a latke? So by now I'm 3 latkes in and we haven't even sat down to dinner yet.
In any case, I've been making latkes since I was a wee little one - it's been a holiday tradition for as long as I can remember. And my family has been through so many latke recipes I don't even remember half of them - at one point we used the box mix but added our own potatoes, then we went the all-potato route but used yukon gold, then we tried russets, etc. After many experiments with many varieties of potato and many methods of cooking, as well as plenty of arm-hair burned off in the process (man that oil is HOT), I've finally happened on my perfect latke recipe. I discovered this recipe/method 3 years ago and I've been making them the same way ever since - they never disappoint. They're perfectly crispy, with a crunchy, salty exterior and a hot, creamy inside. They're not too big, they're not greasy, and when topped with sour cream they probably rate up there as one of my all-time favorite foods. So without further ado - perfectly crispy latkes.