Latkes have been done every way imaginable. They’ve been made with every root vegetable you can think of. There are sweet versions and savory versions, and recipes that have been seasoned with every spice in your pantry. But I haven’t seen many recipes for stuffed latkes. So when my sister started talking about our Hanukkah celebration before the Thanksgiving dishes were even cleared, I decided to use the leftover spuds from the mashed potatoes and the remaining Gruyère from our cheese plate and put them together to make some latkes with a block of cheese in the middle. When enclosed in the potato/onion mixture, the Gruyère melted but still stayed contained, and browning the entire exterior of the latke—which ends up looking like a jumbo tater tot—kept it in the pan long enough for the interior to cook through.
Makes about 10 latkes
2 pounds Russet potatoes, grated
1 onion, grated
2 teaspoons salt
Vegetable or canola oil
Gruyère, cut into ½-inch cubes
1. Squeeze potato and onion mixture by hand over medium bowl and transfer to large bowl. Stir in eggs and salt to potato mixture. Pour water off of potato liquid in medium bowl, leaving behind thick potato starch. Stir starch into large bowl with potatoes and onion.
2. Heat ¼ cup vegetable oil in nonstick skillet until shimmering. Line baking sheet with paper towels.
3. Take a scant ¼ cup potato mixture and flatten in hand. Place one piece Gruyère in center and enclose in potato. Using both hands, form into cylinder, completely covering Gruyère. Add flat side down to skillet and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Repeat until pan is full but not crowded. Using tongs, flip over browned latkes onto second flat side and cook until golden brown, another 3 minutes. Turn cylinders on sides and cook, rotating every few minutes, until all sides are brown. Transfer to prepared sheet pan to drain. Repeat with remaining potato/onion mixture. Serve immediately with garnishes and condiments of your choice.