Recipe: Potato Pancakes

Since I have a large bag of potatoes on hand (I’m part-Irish, what can I say? :wink:), I was looking for something to do with them before they turned rotten and useless. Fortunately, an old vegetable cookbook that I found on my bookcase, Vegetable Cooking of All Nations, edited by Florence Schwartz, had about 70-something recipes for potatoes. Using one of the recipes I found in the book, I made something that I’ve been craving to eat for a week or two now: potato pancakes.

Potato pancakes have to be one of the most perfect foods. For starters, they are somehow crispy and soft, and a wonderful vehicle for both applesauce and sour cream. They also happen to be perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between, which I find especially magical. Yet, finding the perfect recipe has been a challenge in the past, and ordering out tends to be equally as disappointing. My experiences at restaurants frequently involved either thin, floppy, and greasy pancakes or, the other extreme, heavy, greasy, and overly-crisp potato masses. Blah.

Imagine how happy I was yesterday when I tried these recipes and these potato pancakes turned out pretty damn delicious. Perfectly crisp like hash browns around the edges and perfectly set egg-and-potato goodness inside. Needless to say, this is a recipe that I am going to keep in mind and use for a long time.

Grated Potato Pancakes

From Vegetable Cooking of All Nations, edited by Florence Schwartz, page 174. From what I found, this recipe made about 12-15 small-to-medium sized potato pancakes. Please note that the method, as written, is not word-for-word from the book and instead was adapted based on my experience making them.

Ingredients

6 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and grated
1 small yellow onion, grated
1/2c all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1tbsp dried parsley
salt and pepper, to taste

Method

Preheat a few tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Squeeze the moisture out of the onion and potatoes by either gathering the vegetables in a clean cheese cloth, tea towel, or a paper towel and wringing; or placing the vegetables into a fine mesh strainer and squeezing/pressing down on them with your clean hands until the liquid out comes out.

Combine the potatoes and onions with the eggs, flour, and seasonings. Drop a tablespoon or two of the mixture per pancake into the hot oil and flatten slightly. Cook a few minutes on each side until potatoes are light/medium golden brown and delicious.

Serve with sour cream and applesauce, if desired.