(Potato Pancakes, served here with sour cream, applesauce, and a dash of cinnamon - recipe in post.)
Credit goes to The Boyfriend for suggesting potato pancakes. One of those meals simple enough to throw together on a busy weeknight, but tasty enough to be a top request. Ah - I love it when dinner is easy!
As simple as they are, though, there are a few different ways to make them - more in terms of method than ingredients. You can grate the potatoes to make hash brown-like patties (probably the most common way), you can cube the potatoes for a more rustic look, or you can use mashed potatoes to make a very fluffy, pancake-like pancake.
These may seem like very minor differences that would hardly effect the end result, but I know I've been disappointed more than once ordering at a restaurant and not getting quite what I expected. Perhaps that's just me...
After asking The Boyfriend to elaborate a little (and getting less than impressive results: "they have potatoes in them... and you put sour cream on top..."), I found a little scrap of paper tucked into one of his cook books. Aha! When in doubt...
These really are one of the easiest things to throw together, and this recipe is basic enough for you to make any changes you see fit - from the addition of spices (garlic? Chili powder?), to playing with sweet vs. savory (sugar, cinnamon...). Delicious as they are, or as a canvas to experiment with.
Personally, I like to keep them simple, topped with the traditional sour cream and applesauce.
Simple Potato Pancakes (Latkes)
(Makes about 10 patties)
2 large russet potatoes, peeled or just thoroughly washed
1/2 onion (or a couple shallots)
1 large egg, beaten
1/8th cup flour (any kind, including gluten free)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8th tsp. black pepper
2-3 TBSP olive oil for frying
Note: I sometimes like to add a carrot, beet, or other root vegetable grated in with the potatoes.
In a bowl, beat the egg. Add the flour, salt and pepper, and set aside.
Using a cheese grater, shred the onion (or chop it very finely) and the potatoes. Add them to the bowl with the egg and flour and toss to combine.
To a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, add about 1 TBSP olive oil. Once hot, scoop about 1/4 cup of the potato mixture into the pan. I like to use an actual measuring cup to scoop, so that the mixture is fairly tightly packed. Press the mound down slightly and let cook 3-4 minutes, or until golden on one side, then flip and press firmly with the back of your spatula. Let cook another 3-4 minutes before removing to a warm plate. Repeat with the rest of the potato mixture.
Serve hot with applesauce, sour cream, and perhaps a dash of cinnamon.
Mindlessly easy, on the table in about 20 minutes, and delicious to boot - what a great way to unwind from the day!