Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Potato Pancakes or Latke's

The other day, I had some potatoes that needed to be used up.  "Would you be interested in some potato soup?" I asked Charlie.  "Um..." he said.  "How about some potato pancakes instead?"  I thought that was a great idea! 

One of the most important things I have learned about making potato pancakes is that the potato shreds need to be dry - as dry as possible. To accomplish this, I got out a clean kitchen towel, rolled the potato and onion shreds in the towel and squeezed as much liquid from them as possible. 

The finished potato pancake batter.

This is the technique I found that worked great to form the pancakes: scoop up 1/3 cup batter.

Dump the scoop out on a large spatula.

The scoop.

Gently flatten and shape the scoop of batter with your fingers.

And gently slide it off the spatula into the prepared, hot pan.

I love my potato pancakes with applesauce - I know the color of this applesauce looks weird - it is actually crab apple sauce made from some lusciously red crab apples last fall.


  Potato Pancakes or Latke's 

  • 2-ish pounds russet, peeled and rinsed
  • 1 yellow onion 
  • 1/2 cup green onions
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • About 1 cup vegetable oil 
  • more green onions for garnish, if desired
Using a hand grater or food processor, shred potatoes, working over a large bowl of cold water or frequently transferring shredded potatoes to water (this will help keep them from turning brown). Shred onion and add to bowl (if using green onion, reserve til later).  Let potatoes and onions stand in the cold water for 30 minutes.

After the 30 minutes, drain potato mixture and wipe bowl clean.  Squeeze extra water from a large handful of the potato mixture, then pile the mix onto a clean kitchen towel.  Enclose potatoes tightly in towel and twist it to wring out remaining moisture.  Repeat to dry all potatoes, using fresh towels if needed. Return potatoes to bowl.  Add eggs, flour, green onions, salt, and pepper to bowl and mix well.

Pour about 1/4 inch oil into a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat. When a few drops of water sprinkled in the oil pop gently, scoop up 1/3 cup of the potato mixture, then turn it onto a wide spatula. Flatten mixture into a pancake about 1/2 inch thick.  Gently slide each cake from spatula into hot oil, 3 to 4 pancakes per batch (try not to crowd the pan!).

Cook until the undersides of the pancakes are golden brown (lift with spatula to check), about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until remaining sides are golden brown, about 3 minutes longer.  Transfer to paper towels to drain briefly, then either keep warm in a 200° oven while you cook remaining pancakes or eat them right away!  Serve hot with applesauce and a sprinkling of extra green onions if that sounds good to you!

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