TIP: These latkes are best served right away, but you can also make them ahead and keep them in a 200-degree-F oven before serving.
5 large russet potatoes, peeled
1 medium onion, peeled
1/2 cup matzo meal
1/4 cup chopped chives
Pinch baking powder
Ground black pepper
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 to 3/4 cup canola oil
Optional toppings: caviar, crème fraîche, chives, lox, apple slices, applesauce, pomegranate seeds, pickled onions, and fresh herbs (chives, dill, or parsley)
Grate the potatoes and onion using a box grater or a food processor fitted with a shredding blade.
In a large bowl, mix the potatoes and onions with a pinch of salt and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Use your hands to squeeze out all the liquid and transfer the vegetables to a large bowl. Add the matzo meal, chopped chives, and baking powder and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Add the beaten eggs and combine well.
Line a sheet pan with paper towels. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add 1/2 cup oil to the skillet. You want roughly 1/4 inch of oil in the skillet, so add more depending on how large your pan is. When the oil is hot, test the temperature by dropping a bit of batter into the hot oil and checking that it sizzles.
Form latkes by taking a 1/4 cup of batter at a time and flattening it into a disk with your hands. Working in batches (don’t crowd the skillet), place the latkes in the oil and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on the first side, until golden brown and crispy around the edges. Flip the latkes and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on the second side. Drain on the paper towels. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.
Place the latkes on a large serving platter accompanied by the optional toppings of your choice. I love traditional toppings such as crème fraîche and applesauce, as well as lox, caviar, pomegranate seeds, and chives and other fresh herbs.