If You Love Loaded Tater Tots, Take Things A Step Further With Latkes

The holidays are around the corner, which means, of course, for Jews everywhere and their lucky friends and family who get a dinner invite, it's nearly time for latkes. The potato pancake is a customary Hanukkah food and a staple at many Jewish delis alike, but you don't have to wait until the holidays or be Jewish to appreciate the beauty of perfectly fried, crispy, salty potatoes.

Latkes are made from simple ingredients: Hand-grated potatoes and typically grated onions, egg, and flour, mounded into pancakes and deep-fried in oil until crispy. These simple ingredients, coupled with a bit of know-how and time in the kitchen, result in a truly delectable treat with significance and symbolism in the Jewish tradition and meaning of the holiday. While latkes are traditionally enjoyed with either sour cream or applesauce dollops, take things up a notch this season by creating a spread of loaded latkes. Think the bar-food staple of loaded tater tots, but with a base of potato pancakes and toppings piled sky high. Fun to eat and visually impressive, this is the perfect crowd-pleasing shareable platter, with latkes acting as the ideal blank slate to receive any combo of flavorful toppings.  

The sky's the limit for loaded latke toppings

For the ultimate tater tots-meets-latke mashup, stick to the classic tot toppings of sour cream, sliced green onions, bacon bits, and melted shredded cheese. Are you feeling spicy? Add some pickled jalapeños for brininess and some added kick. Are you craving a more elevated spread or the ideal shareable brunch dish? Stick to latke's quintessential accompaniment, sour cream — a must — and add accouterments like caviar, smoked salmon, and herbs. If you're entertaining a crowd, take cues from the ever-popular charcuterie board and create more of a build-your-own latke approach. Cover a board or serving tray with latkes and nestle in assorted cheeses, pickles, fruits, olives, crackers, dips, chopped veggies, and anything you'd round out a cheese board with.

However you dress and season your loaded latkes, consider frying up easy-to-eat mini portions. Instead of the usual pancake size, smaller rounds are easier to handle, enjoy as finger food, and, importantly, scoop up all manner of delicious toppings with, ensuring the ideal potato-to-flavor ratio. Pro tip: Store extra latkes in the oven on low and replenish the stash as they run out, as they surely will. If you find yourself miraculously with any leftovers, day-old latkes make for an unparalleled breakfast, reheated or enjoyed cold with sour cream.