It’s time to celebrate the season, and what better way to gather friends and family than throwing a party dedicated to one of the most-loved Hanukkah snacks: latkes!

Like all great parties, a latke get-together takes a little planning ahead, and we’ve got five fantastic tips to make sure your party goes off without a hitch.

888_classic-potato-latkes

Make ’em Ahead of Time
As delicious as they are, latkes can be quite time consuming to make. You have to grate the potatoes and the onions, drain, add the flour or matzoh meal, and then fry them in small batches. You don’t want to be entertaining guests while sweating by your box grater. Unfortunately, you can’t make your potato mixture too far in advance or your spuds will oxidize, turning an unappetizing brown colour.

My advice is to make the majority of your latkes hours before your guests arrive and keep them warm in the oven. Place your fried latkes on baking trays in single layers in an oven set to 325° F. As your guests arrive, have enough potato mixture to fry up the last couple of batches. The kitchen is a great place to start the party. When guests come in, they will be welcomed by the delicious smell of crispy latkes being fried. Once you have finished frying the last few latkes, whip off your apron, grab a latke and a drink and settle into the party.

Spiced Apple-Pear Sauce

It is All About the Sauces
No one will argue that half the fun of eating latkes is loading them up with your favourite toppings. Classically paired with apple sauce and sour cream, latkes can really be served with lots of different dippers, so get creative! My bubbie served homemade strawberry apple sauce and now I can’t imagine eating my latkes without it. I recreate this sweet, chunky family tradition every holiday season to share with my friends. Passing on family secrets and stories is a special part of the season, but if you can always create your own traditions. Apple chutney is a great alternative to apple sauce. Think about switching out sour cream for thick Greek yogurt or tzatziki sauce. The possibilities are truly endless.

Don’t Forget the Sides
It’s a good idea to serve latkes with some fresh crudites or salads. Your guests will appreciate having something on the lighter side to eat alongside greasy latkes. Make a cucumber salad with lots of fresh dill and yogurt, or a roasted beet salad with mint. If you want to stick to finger foods, prepare some veggies and hummus or eggplant dip.

Serve Sippers that Pair Well with Latkes
It isn’t a party without drinks. Wines with high acidity and tart drinks are perfect for cutting through greasy latkes. Serve them with a cool, dry Riesling or dry sparkling wine. Cold, crisp lagers are another great option. Have some iced tea or tart lemonade on hand for non-alcoholic options.

strawberry cheesecake Sufganiyots

Don’t Forget Dessert
Latkes are the hero of the party, so you don’t want to outshine them with any big extravagant desserts. Typically, jelly filled doughnuts called sufganiyot are served at Hanukkah, but any little sweets will do the trick. If you are sticking to a Hanukkah theme, make some rugelach or serve some Hanukkah gelt (chocolate coins).

Looking for more delicious recipes? Try our 15 Deep Fried Hanukkah Desserts.