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Jewcy and Fancy Fast Food Present Bubbe Wendy’s Latkes

Bubbe Wendy’s Hanukkah Latkes (Fancy Wendy’s Hash Browns) by Erik of Fancy Fast Food, with assistance and a little bit of hand modeling from me

Hey everybody, it’s Hanukkah! It’s Chanuka! No matter how you spell it, it’s time for the Jewish festival of lights — eight crazy nights of dreidels gone wild, a time when latkes are as abundant as old yentas around a mahjongg table. But you don’t need to be Jewish to partake in Hanukkah traditions, particularly the gastronomic treat of latkes (or lattkes). No matter how you spell it, "latkes" is Yiddish for fried pancakes, typically of the potato variety — making it oddly similar to McDonald’s hash browns. However, Bubbe Wendy has guilted us into using her Fancy Fast Food recipe ("If you just want to use McDonald’s hash browns, then I guess that’s fine by me…"), so here goes. Oy…

Ingredients (from Wendy’s):

  • 8 orders of hash browns (for the eight nights of Hannukah)
  • 2 baked potatoes (with packets of sour cream and "Buttery-Best Spread")
  • 2 orders of mandarin oranges
  • 1 small soft drink
  • 1 bottle of water
  • packets of Sweet & Sour Sauce
  • packets of sugar
  • packets of salt and pepper
  • a pinch of Jewish guilt (may be substituted with Catholic guilt)
  • organic chives (for garnish and a touch of irony)

Latkes are traditionally served with apple sauce or sour cream. We already have the latter, so we’re going to have to make the apple sauce. Unfortunately, Wendy’s sells no apple products whatsoever, so we’ll have to get creative. What are apples? They are a kind of fruit that are sometimes sweet, sometimes sour, and so naturally we will start with Sweet & Sour Sauce. To add a fruity pulp to it, we’ll add the mandarin oranges — but that’s fine; Bubbe Wendy moved down to Boca. Put the manadrin oranges in a food processor and purée them, then strain out the extraneous juice. Mix this pulp in a bowl with the Sweet & Sour Sauce. The color is a bit intense to look like real apple sauce, so scoop out some baked potato (minus any chives) and mix it in — the French call potatoes "pommes de terre" (apples of earth) so we’ll go with it. Mush and whisk it all until it sort of looks like apple sauce; add sugar until it’s as sweet. Next, the latkes themselves. Take all the mini hash brown nuggets and mush them with your hands. Touching them, you’ll realize they are all too greasy for things to stick together, so we’ll need to make a batter to work as a binding agent. Put one baked potato, minus the skin, into a food processor and add about a quarter cup of water. Hit purée and voilà: batter! Add this potato batter to your pile of hash browns and mix thoroughly in a bowl. Add salt and pepper as desired. In a large non-stick skillet, melt a few packets of Wendy’s "Buttery-Best Spread;" there’s enough oil in it for a fry-up. Slice the top of your beverage’s paper cup and use it as a guide when forming the batter into pancakes in the skillet. Fry each evenly on both sides until it becomes crispy and golden brown. Argue with Bubbe Wendy that they do in fact, resemble McDonald’s hash browns now — but let her win the argument; she’ll try and make you feel guilty for never calling her anyway. You are ready to serve the Hannukah latkes, but wait! You can use your fancy kitchen tools in continued preparation for the holiday: use a fondue fork to clean out the old waxy build-up in your menorah; use a kitchen torch to light the new candles. Garnish the latkes with organic chives (for that extra touch of irony), and then have a Happy Hannukah, courtesy of Bubbe Wendy and Fancy Fast Food! Now spin those dreidels until we figure out what we’re going to do for Christmas…

READ MORE: FFF Creator Erik R. Trinidad’s travel blog on Israel and the Middle East

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