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Move over, sourdough: It's latke time!

27 Recipes
Classic potato latkes
(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

Let’s not allow the pandemic to be what makes this Hanukkah different from all other Hanukkahs.

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We Jews celebrate with food. At Hanukkah time, potato latkes fried in oil are center stage. To many, eight days of potato latkes may not sound so bad — one or two or five or six are never enough. My family of four could easily put away a 5-pound bag of potatoes’ worth of latkes in one sitting. Still, I don’t think we ever did eight straight days of no OPL (other people’s latkes).

The good news is that while you likely already have a favorite latke recipe (late Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold loved this one), our cooking website can keep you in latke variations — from apple latkes to zucchini latkes — for the duration of the holiday.

The even better news is that Hanukkah food is not really about latkes. Rather, it is about oil. And yes, that does mean a lot of fried foods. Our cooking website has plenty to offer on that front as well. How about some down-home crispy fried chicken, Korean fried chicken, chicken katsu or keftes de gallina (Sephardic chicken patties)? Add some green vegetables with shishito tempura peppers, and a big salad with pan-fried goat cheese or fried ricotta.

For dessert, there are bumuelos, sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) and Hanukkah beignets. There is also olive oil cake. When pastry chef Nancy Silverton first heard of olive oil cake while traveling in Italy, she thought that it sounded weird and unappealing, but on tasting it, she “realized that it wasn’t some modernist concoction but a natural byproduct of the olive oil-producing region.” Her restaurants have since featured olive oil cakes and her olive oil gelato, which pairs well with fresh citrus olive oil cake or chocolate olive oil Bundt cake.

The best news is that while you may feel stuck at home, you can fake an escape. Hanukkah has been celebrated in every corner of the planet, so transport your spirit by cooking a panoply of Hanukkah foods from around the world.

Lentil latkes with chard yogurt sauce

Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer

Zucchini latkes with feta and dill

Time 1 hour
Yields Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer

Jonathan Gold's Favorite Potato Latkes

Time 1 hour
Yields Serves 10 to 12

Apple latkes

Time 40 minutes
Yields Serves 4

Classic potato latkes

Time 50 minutes
Yields Serves 8 to 12 (makes 2 to 2 1/2 dozen latkes)

Winter sunshine latkes

Time 40 minutes
Yields Serves 12

Oversize russet and root vegetable latkes

Time 55 minutes
Yields Serves 3 to 4

Red beet latkes with creme fraiche and chives (Rodbetsbiffar)

Time 45 minutes
Yields Serves 4 (makes 20 [1-inch] or 4 medium latkes)

Garlic Fried Chicken

Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields Serves 4 to 8

Chicken Patties (Keftes de Gallina)

Time 1 hour
Yields Serves 6

Chicken Katsu

Time 30 minutes
Yields Serves 4

Fried Smoky Chickpeas With Garlic and Ginger

Time 1 ½ hours, largely unattended
Yields Makes about 6 ½ cups

Crispy fried chicken

Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields Serves 2 to 4

Korean fried chicken (Yangnyeom dak)

Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields Serves 4 to 6

Fried ricotta

Time Total time: 15
Yields Serves 4

Tempura shishito peppers with sriracha salt

Time 25 minutes
Yields Serves 4 to 6

Bumuelos in red wine sauce

Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Yields Serves 6 to 8

Hanukkah Beignets

Time 1 hour
Yields Makes 30 beignets

Olive oil gelato

Time 1 hour
Yields Serves 8

Fresh Citrus Olive Oil Cake

Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields Makes one 9-inch loaf cake

Rosy Olive Oil and Date Rugelach

Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Yields Makes 4 dozen cookies

Dario's olive oil cake

Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields Serves 20 to 24 (2 cakes)

Turkish doughnuts with rose hip syrup

Time 1 hour
Yields Serves 4

Glazed Orange Blossom and Chocolate Olive Oil Bundt Cake

Time 3 hours, largely unattended
Yields Serves 10 to 12