The 12 Dishes of Christmas #1

Potato Latkes

A photo of a danish Christmas dinner
A Danish Christmas dinner

Regardless of our religious beliefs, most of us still look forward to spending time with family and friends around Christmas time. As everyone gets time off, and everywhere is closed, we all do something a bit different on Christmas, even if you don’t celebrate it directly. And of course December celebrations such as Chanukah have their own culinary traditions.

Over the next three weeks as we get closer to Christmas we are going to be showcasing food history facts and recipes that you could try at home, which cover a variety of different food cultures and culinary styles, focused on celebration.

This week we are going to show you a Smörgåsbord of starters that you could make to kick of a celebration meal. With inspiration from all over the world, we think they represent modern British celebration and highlight how lucky we all are to have the food of the world on our doorsteps.

Give one of these recipes a try this weekend, or wait it out for a full menu. Why not try a different cuisine for each course to really give your meal an exciting difference?

Recipe 1 – Potatoes Latkes

A photo of Potato Latkes
Potato Latkes

This is a traditional Jewish dish often served as part of Chanukah. Like many of the dishes celebrating Chanukah it is fried in oil, which as a symbolic significance during this holiday. Cooking with oil is a representation of the one day’s oil for the menorah (a seven branched lampstand) in the second temple which burned for eight days. This was the time it took for new oil to be processed and prepared. Chanukah is observed for 8 nights and days, starting anywhere from late November to late December depending on the alignment of Hebrew calender and our own Gregorian calender.


1kg/2lb 4oz old or baking potatoes
1 onion, peeled
25g/1oz plain flour or fine matzoh meal
1 free-range egg, beaten
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
olive or vegetable oil, for frying

To Accompany

sour cream
apple sauce


1. Finely grate the potatoes and onion then mix together.
2. Place the potato/onion mixture into a tea towel or muslin cloth and wring out the liquid.
3. Mix the potato and onion with the egg, flour, salt and white pepper.
4. Heat the oil on a high heat in a frying pan. Then placed heaped tablespoons of the mixture in the pan, turning the heat down to medium. Flatten the latke with a spoon and fry for 5 minutes on each side. Be aware, if the pan is too hot, the latke will brown on the outside and remain raw in the middle.
5. Remove the latkes from the pan and leave to drain on brown paper. which will absorb the oil and leave the latkes crisp.
6. Eat hot, served with sour cream and apple sauce.

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