Potato Pancakes

My mom used to make these and I have attempted these more than once. Neither one of us was successful….not that I told mom that, I’m not stupid. Both of us would grate the potatoes, mix with some egg, and fry them up…..don’t cringe, neither of us knew any better. During the frying, they would fall apart and when time came to eat them, they were most often somewhat….crunchy inside and greasy outside. Not terribly appealing. This is where my stubborn shows, because every once in a while, I will try again, despite having never been successful and despite my kids giving me the face. They are very supportive and aren’t terribly fussy, so are usually up for a tasting, but these would bring about the face…..the distract her so I can spit it out, can I go out for supper face….which I ignored because that is my prerogative as their mom. (insert evil laugh here)

Jump to this year and TikTok. TikTok is a revelation for me. Short food videos, with things I want to try, things I have tried (roasted potatoes), tips (bake garlic in its skin with your food and it will infuse the food with garlic flavour but the skin keeps it from burning), and things that might fix previous fails.

Can you just imagine how happy I was to see someone do a short video about latkes (potato pancakes) that was completely different than anything I’ve ever tried? I can’t even explain it, there was a shift in the universe and I had a plan for potatoes I had peeled for a recipe that I ended up not needing. I told the kids that dinner was going to be “Breakfast for supper” and there would be homemade hashbrown patties….then I didn’t have to listen to bargaining and rebellion. 🙂

Ingredients: (this is best done when you have an hour or two before you want to serve it)

  • 2 cups of potatoes, peeled or not, dealers choice
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 1 egg
  • 3 TB flour…..the actual recipe for these calls for matzo flour, but I had none. I think rice flour would work better than all purpose but all purpose does work.
  • salt & pepper

Grate the potatoes and onion together. My potatoes were sliced already, so I used my food processor attachment for my stick blender….basically the bottom blade of a food processor for pre-sliced or a grater for whole potatoes.

Put into a bowl and salt generously. Mix the whole works together and go do something else for a while – at least half an hour, longer won’t hurt, though.

When you come back, there will be water in the bowl, oh, yes, there will. Those potatoes will have given up loads of water, as will the onion.

Get a clean dish towel or a doubled piece of cheesecloth and dump the potato/onion mixture into it. Twist the top of the towel around the mix and squeeze! Squeeze until nothing much is draining out of it. Drain out the water & starch, give the bowl a quick rinse and dump the potato and onion mixture back into it….why dirty another bowl?

Add in your egg, some pepper and the flour and give it a mix.

Heat your frying pan on medium and toss some oil in there. I used olive but vegetable or coconut would work, as would avocado….basically, whatever you have….even cooking spray. Grab a measuring cup and scoop up some of the mix and put into the pan. Use the back of the measure or a spatula to spread the mixture around into a pancake shape, keeping it together, just spreading it out to get it all even.

Let it cook. A lid on the pan would not go amiss. When the bottom is browned, flip it over and brown the other side.

When it’s done, it will be crispity and cooked all the way through. This was a revelation to me and I can see adding cheese to these and additional spices and all sorts of things. Traditionally, these are served with applesauce which I did not do – I ate them plain because I wanted to taste them. Rest assured, the onion, having sat in the water, is not onion-y and sharp tasting when these are done – the flavour is quite subtle.

After the cornbread cowboy casserole failure, it was really nice to have a plan that worked. I still think I liked these more than anyone else in the house but I have no shame and will make these whenever I want because that’s how I roll!

Loki says, “why did you put this torture device on me?!” Day one of Loki learning to wear a harness. He has so much energy, the plan is to harness train him then take him out for walks in the hopes of wearing him out some. His enthusiasm for this is somewhat lacking!

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