Potato Latkes / Potato Pancakes

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(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.
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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

For topping:
Sour cream
Optional: cinnamon

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.

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Mindlessly easy, on the table in about 20 minutes, and delicious to boot – what a great way to unwind from the day!


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12 Responses to Potato Latkes / Potato Pancakes

  1. CPereira February 1, 2012 at 3:40 am #

    Ahh potato pancakes! Brings me back to my childhood, so delicious. I love the idea of adding root veggies, great post!


  2. Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes February 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    Mmmm these look so good and make me feel so warm and cozy inside!

    Love the blue plate you served them on- makes for a very pretty presentation, also loving the suggestion of sweet or savory, these will definitely be on my list to make this week, a vegan version course :)

    • Willow February 1, 2012 at 11:20 pm #

      Cool! I was thinking about making them vegan, but wasn’t sure what I’d use to replace the egg. I wasn’t sure a flax egg would hold everything together well enough – if you try it I’d be curious to know what you use and how well it works!

  3. maree February 2, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    Wow what a fantastic idea. My kids are going to love these.

  4. Tracy @ Daily Deal Blog February 4, 2012 at 4:06 am #

    Oh my those look really nice. Will definitely be trying this out for sure!

    • Willow February 4, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

      Let me know what you think!

  5. mastervirudhakad February 8, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I love making potato pancakes. It is a very simple and an easy recipe to be included in a healthy breakfast. My sister love it more than me and I generally make it for her. Your style of making potato pancakes is similar to that of mine with a very little difference. But after all this is really a yummy recipe.

  6. Katherine Martinelli February 20, 2012 at 6:15 am #

    This is, no joke, my husband’s favorite food – yours look amazing!! Thanks so much for linking up to my breakfast blog hop! Pinned :-)

    • Willow February 20, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

      Haha! You’re welcome, and thanks! :)

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