For all the (chosen) peeps and your adjacents, an epic Hanukkah Board with smoked salmon, latkes, and all the good fried things to celebrate the holiday.
And because smoked salmon served with any kind of fried potatoes immediately translates to "plus caviar" for me, we're adding a luxurious little caviar service to the board to make this holiday a real party.
What You Need for Your Hanukkah Board with Latkes and Smoked Salmon
The foundation of the Hanukkah Board is of course, golden fried latkes. Apple sauce and sour cream are traditional toppings for latkes, and after that, the options for accompaniments and garnishes are endless. If it were up to me, the entire board or platter would just be Smoked Salmon Latkes topped with caviar, but what's the fun in that? Here are the general categories of things you need to make it a big fun colorufl board:
- latkes, of course, and other fried things to serve as bases
- apple sauce and/or sour cream
- smoked salmon and other smoked fish and spreads
- caviar and the usual accompaniments if you're going luxe
- chopped fresh herbs
- briny, pickled things
- crisp fresh fruit and vegetables to round out flavors and textures
You can use a large wooden board to serve the Latkes and Smoked Salmon as a true board. However, when I serve hot/warm foods like latkes, and seafood like smoked salmon, I usually serve on a ceramic, stone or porcelain platter, which keeps foods at their serving temperature a little longer than wood.
Links to boards and platters I use in the Tools and Equipment section below.
Can I Use Something Other than Potato Latkes?
YES! Though we most often associate latkes with regular white potatoes, there are latkes make with other vegetables. So if your health and dietary restrictions exclude regular white potatoes, you can try latkes made from sweet potatoes, which are not related to potatoes at all, beets, carrot, and even zucchini.
We found cauliflower latkes, pictured above, and in the lower right corner of the board, shaped like what else? Flowers.
(These are actually sold in the store as cauliflower "pancakes," not cauliflower latkes. Minor technicality.)
And we included sweet potato waffle "fries" as well as various potato chips, which are all in keeping with the Hanukkah tradition of fried foods.
Ingredients Notes and Resources for Latkes and Smoked Salmon
Latkes and Accompaniments
- Potato Latkes. Use your family's favorite recipe for potato latkes. If your family doesn't have its own guarded-for-generations recipe, use my simple recipe for classic potato latkes. However, if you're going to all the effort of assembling an epic platter, save yourself the insanity and just buy pre-made latkes. The potato latkes shown in the photos are fully-cooked and frozen, available at Trader Joe's.
- Cauliflower Latkes. Like the potato latkes shown on this platter, the cauliflower latkes are available fully-cooked and frozen at Trader Joe's. They are labeled as "Cauliflower Pancakes." However, if you are sensitive to regular white potatoes, you should know that these are made with mostly cauliflower, but include potato starch as a binder. You can also get Cauliflower Hash Browns, which are also part potato. Seems like we can't get away from regular white potatoes!
- Sweet Potato Waffle Fries. I use this brand for all frozen fries, including Sweet Potato Waffles Fries. They also have regular potato waffle fries.
- Sour Cream. This is an organic sour cream produced by a California-based dairy. You can also use creme fraiche, which is similar to sour cream, but higher in fat (30% in creme friache vs 20% in sour cream) and less tangy. Creme fraiche is also a traditional accompaniment for caviar, so it works for everything on the board.
Smoked Salmon and Smoked Fish
- Smoked Salmon. For special occasions, and Hanukkah is most definitely a special occasion, I use Petrossian smoked salmon, which is the same brand as the caviar. Use any smoked salmon you like, which can usually be found in the seafood section of a grocery store. Just make sure to look for cold smoked salmon, and if possible, wild King salmon.
- Smoked Whitefish Dip. Delis and some grocery stores will have smoked whitefish dip made with a combination of cream cheese and other dairy ingredients like sour cream, yogurt, or cheese. You can also make this Smoked Whitefish "pate" made with butter and creme fraiche.
- Smoked Salmon Dip. You can buy smoked salmon dip, which can be made with anything as a base from cream cheese to yogurt. This is Claude Monet's recipe (yes, that Claude Monet, the artist) for Smoked Salmon spread with goat cheese.
Caviar and Accompaniments
- Caviar. I almost always get my caviar from Petrossian Caviar, which is available online, or in their boutiques in West Hollywood and New York City. The caviar pictured in the photo is a more affordable brand, ROE, which is a single source American white sturgeon caviar grown in Northern California.
- Caviar Accompaniments. Some common, traditional accompaniments for sturgeon caviar are creme fraiche, chopped egg whites and yolks separated, chopped fresh chives, and chopped red onions. The sour cream that accompanies the latkes can do double duty here and stand in for the creme fraiche (or vice versa!).
Fresh Fruit and Vegetables to Add Color to Your Hanukkah Board
- Apple Slices. Fuji apples are my all-time favorite because they are crisp and sweet, but use whatever apples you like. Tart apples work especially well for a Hanukkah Board because they balance out the somewhat rich flavors and textures of the fried latkes. I get most fresh fruit and vegetables from the Santa Monica Farmers Market (Los Angeles) or Whole Foods Market
- Persian Cucumber Slices. These are small "mini" cucumbers available year-round with a thin skin (not Kirby/pickling cucumbers). I get most fresh fruit and vegetables from the Santa Monica Farmers Market (Los Angeles) or Whole Foods Market
- Lemons. Farmers Market or parents' trees in the late fall and winter when citrus is in season otherwise, year round at Whole Foods Market
- Tomatoes. Tomatoes are not in season in locally in the late fall/winter, so these are organic from Whole Foods Market
- Radishes. I get most fresh fruit and vegetables from the Santa Monica Farmers Market (Los Angeles) or Whole Foods Market
Hanukkah Board Extras
- Sweet Potato Chips. This brand is the one I almost always buy for sweet potato chips.
- Purple Potato Chips. This brand has a bag of all blue potato chips, but also has bags that include blue potato chips with mixes of other root vegetables so you can get more color bang for your buck.
- Everything Bagel Chips. These are not actually made of any part of bagel, they are more like pretzels crisps, crunchy and flat. But they are round and have a hole in the middle so they look like tiny bagels and that's the most important part.
TOOLS and EQUIPMENT
These are the best tools and equipment you need to make a Latkes and Smoked Salmon Platter. More than likely you already have everything because the platter doesn't require anything fancy, but in case you need...
- air fryer for no fuss frozen latkes
- small wooden board/tray suitable for 2-4 people
- my all-time favorite extra large 28x16-inch wooden board
- the most versatile large 20x15 cutting board that doubles as a cheese board
- if you don't have a board, use a sturdy all-purpose baking sheet
- round wooden board, 3 diff sizes 12-inch to 18-inch diameter
- favorite all-purpose 7-inch chef's knife (expensive but worth it!)
- multi-purpose small condiment bowls for dressings
- I have a gajillion of these tiny spoons for dips, dressings and spreads on boards
- salad spinner to wash and prep veges
- this produce/vege wash to clean produce
Latkes and Smoked Salmon Platter Recipe
- 8-10 potato latkes
- 8-10 cauliflower latkes
- 8-10 sweet potato waffle fries
Toppings for Latkes
- ½ cup sour cream (or creme fraiche)
- ½ cup applesauce
Smoked Salmon and Fish
- 4 ounces smoked salmon
- 8 ounces smoked salmon dip
- 8 ounces smoked whitefish salad
- 50 grams caviar
- 3 hard boiled eggs —whites and yolks separated and chopped
- ¼ cup chopped chives
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- 1 large apple, thinly sliced
Bases for Smoked Salmon and Caviar
- kettle potato chips
- sweet potato chips
- purple potato chips
- mini bagel chips
- Persian cucumbers, sliced
- 1 cup tomatoes
- 1 cup radishes
- ¼ cup capers and caperberries
- 1 cup olives
- 1 lemon —sliced or cut into wedges
- 4 sprigs fresh dill —and other green herbs like chives, parsley, and scallions
- Using small bowls as placeholders, create space on a very large board or platter for the latkes, smoked salmon and smoked fish, and caviar. This will let you keep your latkes warm and the smoked salmon, fish, and caviar refrigerated while you assemble the rest of the platter.
- Place the accompaniments for caviar—egg whites and yolks, chives, red onions—in small condiment bowls and place on the platter. You can place them in the center of the platter as shown, or anywhere else, though keeping them all together is ideal.
- Position bowls of capers and/or caperberries, olives (and other pickled/brined ingredients) on the platter.
- Arrange sliced apples and cucumbers in fans on platter, then add radishes and tomatoes.
- Layer smoked salmon ribbons on the platter, then spoon smoked whitefish and smoked salmon dips into their bowls (placeholders).
- Add warm potato latkes, cauliflower latkes, and sweet potato waffle fries to the platter.
- Fill in the rest of the platter with sweet potato chips, kettle-style potato chips, purple potato chips, and bagel chips.