The Frozen Potato Shortcut For Delightful Mini Latkes

Potatoes are one of the most useful vegetables, with a texture that absorbs flavors like a sponge and an ability to be prepared in numerous different ways. Popular in many Jewish households, potatoes are a necessity as they are the star of latkes — a dish traditionally served during Hanukkah. These crispy, melt-in-your-mouth fritters are delicious and only require three ingredients: potatoes, onions, and oil for frying. However, the work required to make them from scratch isn't for the weak. You start by grating the potato and onion, and next comes the fun part: squeezing out all the excess moisture. This is a mandatory step as less moisture will yield a more crispy texture, and any residual water could result in unwanted gumminess. 

But what if we told you that there is one frozen potato product that slashes all the shredding and squeezing while still using the same ingredients? It's true, tater tots are the perfect mini-latke alternative.

Tater tots

Get a variety of tot that contains onion as well as potato, like the Ore-Ida brand, because these are the perfect alternative for making latkes from scratch in the quickest way. Inspired by the internet sensation of smashed potatoes, you'll essentially be doing the same thing with these crispy nuggets to mimic the shape of mini latkes or potato pancakes.

Start by par-cooking your tater tots in an air fryer set to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes — this helps hold their shape during the smashing process. Next, transfer your tots to a large cutting board or any flat surface, and using a glass with a flat bottom, apply pressure so that each tot is slightly smashed, about half an inch in thickness. Next, transfer the "latkes" to the air fryer and cook until golden brown. Don't forget to finish 'em off with a sprinkling of sea salt, and voila! If you don't own an air fryer, you can simply shallow fry in two rounds using high smoke point oil in a skillet.