Seeking Perfection: Potato Pancakes

Potato Pancakes

Potato Pancakes

I have spent the last twenty years trying to perfect my potato pancake recipe.

Why?  Because they are so lovely (comfort food to the nth degree) when they turn out right, and you can serve them for any meal.  In the place of hash browns for breakfast, under smoked salmon and sour cream as an appetizer, as a side dish for dinner or just on their own (my favourite way) with a bunch of amazing sides to add like coleslaw, sauerkraut, apple sauce, sour cream, etc.

I made up a batch this morning to have with poached eggs and caviar (just because we had it in the fridge left over from Christmas and needed to use it up).  The soft eggs, crispy & yet smooth potatoes and the salty caviar were a wonderful combination….

However, I am still working on my recipe.  I am slowly getting there as I figure this is one of those long-term goals…so far I have learned that minimalism is the key…

– Adding an egg to bind everything together really isn’t necessary

– Making your pancakes too big means you end up with a cooked outside, yet raw inside…size really does seem matter in this situation

I am now down to 5 key ingredients (grated potatoes, grated onion, a bit of flour to bind and some freshly ground salt & pepper to taste).  And I go with smaller dollops of ‘batter’…it may mean a few more batches on the stove (depending on the size of your pan) but definitely worth it to ensure a fully cooked pancake at the end.

Potato Pancakes (for two)

1.  Grate two large potatoes and mix in a bowl with 1 grated medium onion.

2.  Mix potatoes and onion together with about 2 tbsp of flour (you can use any type of flour you like, depending on your taste) along with Salt & Pepper.

3.  Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

4.  Heat a large pan over medium-high heat with a mix of olive oil & butter (I like this combination and use very little of each but it depends on your taste and whether you are working with a non-stick pan).

5.  Once the pan is hot, drop in 2 tbs for each pancake and flatten down.  Cook for about 3 -4  minutes per side (or until browned).

6.  Place cooked pancakes on a baking sheet in the oven to keep warm while you finish cooking all the pancakes.

There are so many things you can add to this batter:  chives, dill, garlic…the list goes on.  Or you can try making this with turnips, yams, carrots, celeriac or other root vegetables.   The adjustments are myriad…which isn’t, ultimately, the joy of cooking?

All this being said, there is definitely still room for improvement on the recipe above so I would love to hear about any tips on amazing potato pancake recipes …

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About kate magee

I am a lifelong foodie who lives in Toronto and spends much too much of my time thinking, preparing, eating and writing about food...
This entry was posted in Cooking, Random musings, Recipes, Vegetables / Herbs / Salads and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Seeking Perfection: Potato Pancakes

  1. Hilda says:

    Can’t really see any way to improve it – but thanks for the idea for using up the caviar I also have left over from Christmas. This is the perfect vehicle – maybe with sour cream.

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