I make my latkes usually on the first night, to set the mood, and fry them up for the tradition and love of them. Sometimes I do a cheese latke as well, but usually just potato. I also use a food processor, which makes them much to easier to make. I know some cooks who say that you can’t get the right consistency if you don’t use a grater, but that usually ends with bloody knuckles. So I use the more convenient food processor.
Place the potatoes in a bowl of lightly salted cold water. Place the onions in a large bowl. Grate the potatoes, coarsely or finely, into the onion, stirring to combine. Drain and press out the excess moisture. Add the eggs, matzah meal, salt, pepper, and, if using, parsley, garlic, and/or baking powder.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat for 3–5 minutes. Add 1/8-inch of oil and heat to 360 degrees. (The surface of the oil will shimmer.)
Drop the batter 1 tablespoon at a time (or up to 1/3 cup at a time) into the oil and flatten with the back of a spoon. Fry until golden on both sides, about 3–5 minutes per side. Then drain on paper towels.
Potato latkes are traditionally served with applesauce, jam, and when not using schmaltz, sour cream.