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+ servings

Flamin' Hot Latkes

Amy Kritzer
Some like it HOT! Flamin' Hot Latkes (hotkes?) topped with Cool Ranch Sour Cream are the most extreme latke at this year's Hanukkah spread!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Hanukkah
Cuisine Jewish
Servings 20


For Cool Ranch Sour Cream

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp buttermilk
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 1/2 tsp dried chives
  • 1/4 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

For Flamin' Hot Latkes

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes (approximately), washed (to get 5 cups shredded)
  • Ice water
  • 1 tbsp potato starch (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1-2 tsp cayenne powder (depending on how hot you want it) (I did 2)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/3 cup powdered cheddar cheese
  • Red gel food coloring (optional)
  • ½ cup canola oil (or other oil for frying like grapeseed)
  • 1 tbsp chives
  • Flamin' Hot Cheetos for garnish


  • Make your Cool Ranch Sour Cream first. This can be made 3 days ahead of time. Mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, vinegar and buttermilk in a medium bowl. Then add the remaining ingredients and mix until combined. Adjust seasonings to taste Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Now, it's latke time. Start by peeling your potatoes one at a time and shredding them with the large holes of a box grater into a bowl of ice water. You should have about 5 cups of potatoes. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Remove potatoes, squeezing out the moisture into the water. Dry potatoes very well with towels or cheesecloth and keep covered. Let the water sit for 5-10 minutes for starch to accumulate on the bottom. Carefully drain water, reserving the white starch on the bottom. This part is optional, but helps make crispier latkes with soft insides. You can also add potato starch to the potato mixer directly, but why do that when you already have it in the potatoes?!
  • Place potato mixture in a large bowl, dry again very well. Then add in the paprika, cayenne, onion powder, garlic powder, sugar, salt, pepper and cheese. Mix until combined. Mix in red gel food coloring until you have your desired color, if you like.
  • Set up a cooling rack over paper towels.
  • Meanwhile, heat up canola oil in a large (cast iron) saute pan. A dab of schmaltz never hurt either. Pro tip- add a little piece of peeled carrot to the oil to soak up the brown bits that flake off so they don't get in your latkes!
  • Scoop 2-tablespoon spoonfuls of the potato mixture and - this is important- dry very well again with towels. The cheese makes the mixture watery as it sits, so it's important the mixture is very dry before frying.
    Anyway, scoop the spoonful into the oil (they should sizzle!) and flatten slightly and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Don't worry about your latkes being perfectly round. Those fly away pieces get extra crispy and delicious! Don't overcrowd the pan.
  • Repeat with remaining latke batter, drying each spoonful of latke batter before frying. Drain on a rack over paper towels and sprinkle with more salt. Sprinkle with more powdered cheese, a dollop of Cool Ranch Sour Cream and a Flamin' Hot Cheeto and chives to garnish. Eat!
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