To make latkes, prepare 1 pound of potatoes, 1/2 cup of finely chopped onion, 1 large egg, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 cup of olive oil. Set these aside, and preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Peel the potatoes, and then coarsely grate them by hand. Soak the grated potatoes in a large bowl of cold water for two minutes, and then drain the potatoes well in a colander. Spread the potatoes and the onions on a towel, and roll them up like a jelly roll. Twist the towel as tightly as possible to wring out as much liquid as you can, and then transfer this mixture to a bowl to stir in the salt and egg.
Heat the oil in a skillet over a moderate to high heat until the oil is hot but not smoking. Cook four batches of latkes at a time by spooning 2 tablespoons of the latke mixture into the skillet. Spread the mixture into 3- inch rounds using a fork, and reduce the heat to cook until the undersides are browned, which takes about five minutes. Turn the latkes over, and cook the other sides for another five minutes. Transfer to paper towels to allow excess oil to drip off, and season with salt as desired.