When I was a child, potato pancakes were a family favorite and not for breakfast either. We always had them for dinner. We usually had bacon or even side pork (a heavenly fattening pork item that I can find once in a while in Florida, but more readily available in the north country). And I made potato pancakes for my kids too- always for dinner. They loved them.
Oddly enough, Grandma never used onion in her recipe which is quite uncommon and she also always served warmed maple syrup, not applesauce, another break from German tradition. But it was a tradition we grew up with- therefore the way I still make them.
So, the next time you look in your larder and find it empty except for couple of potatoes, dinner is right in front of you. Could any meal be cheaper? Or easier? Or more delicious? Or quicker? I mean there are lots of things you can do with potatoes, but just wait until you try this potato pancake recipe; it hits the spot. Better than waffles. Better than regular pancakes except, perhaps, for my Grandfather’s buckwheat pancakes, which I promise to discuss in another post. And we didn’t have potato pancakes on a regular basis- it was always a special treat.
I suppose grating the potatoes would be a snap now with food processors, but there is something special about hand grated potatoes- so that is still how I make them. You have to be careful with your knuckles, but the finished product is just plain better. You need a little egg, a little flour, and vegetable oil to fry them, but that’s about it. Syrup, of course, although you might prefer applesauce or some other fruit puree. I am a Michigan syrup person- we made our own from time to time, but if not, homemade syrup was for sale roadside just about everywhere in the fall. Lucky us. Anyway, most of these ingredients are already in your pantry. Bacon or side pork is not necessary, just icing on the cake. I am in heaven with just the pancakes.
This is going to be a difficult recipe to post because I always make it by look, not by measurement. So last night, my daughter and I had them for dinner and I sort of eye-balled what I put in just for you.
Grandma's Potato Pancakes
Ingredients:1 large Idaho potato
1 small egg
1/4 to 1/3 cup all purpose flour
Vegetable oil for frying
Method:Peel and hand grate the potato. Beat the egg and add to the grated potato. Add a pinch of salt and start with 1/4 cup flour- adding up to 1/3. You want the consistency to still be slightly runny, not too thick.
Heat the oil in a large skillet, add a heaping spoonful of pancake batter and spread it out a little. I can fit three at a time in my skillet. Cook until golden and then flip and cook until brown on the other side. Keep warm in a slow oven while you finish the rest and then serve with heated maple syrup.
This recipe served two of us.