Recipe: Potato Pancakes

When I was a kid my dad would make us a huge batch of potato pancakes every Shrove Tuesday. He’d fry them up in batches as we sat at the table wolfing them down as fast as he could cook. It was generally the only time of year we got to eat potato pancakes, unless he was feeling extra generous.

If you look up potato pancakes you’ll find that everyone and their mother (or father) makes them differently. My dad scoffs at my use of a tiny amount of flour, while others load in so much that it’s more like a pancake with a few potato shavings in it than the potato-heavy cakes we make.

That being said, my recipe is really basic and will make about a dozen, enough to feed two people. It’s easily doubled or halved or quadrupled, depending on your crowd.

Easy Potato Pancakes

You’ll need one small onion, two russet potatoes, salt and pepper, a tablespoon of flour, one egg, and butter or oil (or both).

  1. Peel and grate the onion (on a real cheese grater, not a microplaner). Put the grated onion in a colander.
  2. Grate the potatoes. I grate mine with the peel on, because I’m lazy. Makes no difference.
  3. Put the potatoes in with the onion and toss it around. Let some of the moisture drip out of the colander.
  4. In the meantime, mix up one egg with a tablespoon of flour.
  5. Before you combine the egg/flour mix with the grated veggies, do your best to press out the remaining water from the colander.
  6. Once you’ve mixed it up, get your skillet hot and greased. I use butter and oil, about a tablespoon of each, but you can use whatever you want to fry the pancakes.
  7. Heap some of the potato mix into the pan and flatten it down with your scooping utensil or a spatula.
  8. When the pancakes are golden brown on the bottom (about five minutes), flip them over and cook them for another five minutes or so, then put them on paper towel to sop up some of the grease. Every time you add more cakes to the pan you’ll want to add more of your oil/butter/grease.

If you’re making a large batch or are a slow cooker like me, and you don’t want to run back and forth to the table like my dad used to do, you can keep the finished pancakes warm on a cookie sheet in an oven set to 200F until they’re all done.

Serve with sour cream, applesauce, ketchup, or whatever makes you happy. Yum.

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