Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Potato Pancakes

Every good German boy needs a recipe for potato latkes, although they are very popular throughout Europe.  Did you know it's the national dish of Belarus?  This version is pretty quick and super easy, quite delicious when you're craving some potato pancakes.  I recommend serving with a side of applesauce, some folks like sour cream as well.

For crispy cakes, make sure to remove as much moisture from the potato mixture as possible.  Also important is to heat your oil until hot but not near the smoke point.  Before frying a cake, drop just a pinch of potato mixture into the skillet....if it sizzles right away, the oil is ready. 

Potato Pancakes
makes about 12

1.5 lb large russet potatoes, peeled (about 2-3)
1 medium yellow onion
1 large egg
3 TB dried breadcrumbs
1.5 ts kosher salt
1 ts baking powder
freshly cracked black pepper
vegetable oil, for frying
applesauce

Fire up the oven to 325F.  Line one sheet pan with a couple layers of paper towel, place a wire rack on another sheet pan. 

Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the peeled potatoes and the onion.  Place on a clean kitchen towel and twist the ends to squeeze out the moisture.  Unwrap, stir things up a bit, and repeat.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, breadcrumb, salt, baking powder and a pinch of pepper.  Add the potato mixture and combine gently.

Heat about 4 TB vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot, drop large spoonfuls of potato mixture into skillet, pressing down to slightly flatten.  Fry for about 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown and crisp.  Transfer to the paper towel lined sheet pan to drain for a minute, then place onto the rack.  Keep warm in the oven while frying the rest.  Add more oil to the skillet if needed.  Serve with applesauce. 



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