Golden-brown, crispy, and sporting stunning frizzled, lacy edges, these traditional potato pancakes are pure latke perfection. And while I enjoy creating fun modern-day spins on Jewish holiday favorites, at heart I am a stalwart traditionalist. Who can go wrong with a simple crispy, hot potato latke? Some words of wisdom: stick with the Russet potatoes, because the starchier the potato, the crispier the latke. I also recommend frying the latkes in clarified butter, if being prepared for a dairy meal, as it adds more depth of flavor and takes your latkes to a whole new level of awesomeness. Omit the baking powder if you prefer flatter, crisper latkes (like I do). Including the baking powder will give your latkes more body and a fluffier interior (more like commercial latkes). Still awesome, but it's all in your preference. Enjoy, y'all.
Using the large hole side of a box grater or with a food processor, grate potatoes and onion. Set aside. Season eggs with salt and pepper and garlic powder, and mix to combine. In 2 batches, pile potato mixture onto a clean dish/kitchen towel and squeeze out excess liquid. Transfer to a bowl and mix in seasoned eggs, potato starch, and baking powder.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil or clarified butter over a medium-high flame. In batches, carefully drop 2 tablespoons of potato batter per latke into oil, pressing down with the back of a spatula, to flatten. Cook until crisp and golden, about 4 minutes per side, adjusting heat as needed. Drain on a paper towel lined plate and serve warm with desired toppings. You can keep cooked latkes warm in a 250°F oven until ready to serve.
Pro kitchen tip: Chew gum while grating the onion to keep from tearing up, or wear goggles. Whatever floats your boat.