We were invited to a Chanukah meal a couple of years ago and I offered to bring latkes, and the traditional accompaniments of applesauce and sour cream.
I've made my own applesauce for years, so no problem. I'd never made latkes before, but figured I could do it.
I found some traditional recipes that didn't add extras (cheese for example) and I chose what seemed the best from a few of them.
Now I've made these several times and have learned the "secret" to good latkes is to make sure as much moisture as possible has been removed from the potatoes & onions before frying.
Peel the potatoes and place them in a bowl full of ice water and 1 teaspoon cider vinegar.
Mince the onion. Put it into a fine sieve and using the back of a spoon or rubber spatula, press out as much onion juice as possible.
Grate the potatoes (I use a box grater) and return them to the ice water. Stir them up let sit 5 minutes.
Pour off into a colander, let drain, and then place onto white towels. Roll up tightly and twist the towels to extract as much water as possible.
Beat the eggs well. Stir together the matzo meal or flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the grated potatoes and onion; mix well. Add the eggs and mix until all the potatoes are covered with egg.
Heat a large heavy skillet on medium heat for about 3 minutes, add about a quarter inch of canola oil and continue heating until the oil is about 375 degrees. You can tell when the oil is hot enough by dropping a piece of potato into it, and if it sizzles vigorously, it's ready.
Using a 2 tablespoon measure, drop a mound of potatoes into the hot oil and use the back of the measure to flatten to an even thickness. Fry until golden and the side up has lost its shiny, wet look. Turn and finish frying until done.
Remove from pan and drain on paper towel for a minute - serve as soon as possible.
Serve with applesauce and sour cream. Homemade applesauce is the best and it's easy to make. See my recipe.