Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Potato Pancakes (with Carrots & Onion)

Mmmm... fresh potato pancakes.

Potatoes, carrots, & onion shredded
I love these things.  I first had this type of potato pancake, with the carrots and onions, when I was in college, at my friend Kristin's apartment.  She had invited me over for dinner, and honestly, I think this may have been the dinner.  Just the potato pancakes made the size of a dinner plate.  Kristin's not a vegetarian; I just think they're so good that college students would consider them a meal.  Kristin used red potatoes and these potato pancakes clearly left an impression on me, because 20-some-odd years later I still remember sitting in her apartment eating them, and I'm still making them for my family.  It's the only way my 11-year-old son Max says he enjoys carrots.  Most things do taste better when fried, though.  Let's face that fact.
One of the main reasons I like these is that I consider this side as counting for both my starch and my vegetable for the meal.  Hey, it's better than frozen french fries, right?  Of course it is.

Potato Pancakes

  • 4 medium yellow-flesh potatoes, scrubbed (can use red potatoes or russets—I prefer yellow)
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 6-12 baby carrots or 1-2 large carrots, scrubbed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 large egg
  • salt to taste
  • canola oil (or your favorite cooking oil)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit to hold finished potato pancakes.

Into a large bowl, shred potatoes, onion, and carrots.  Add pepper, flour, and egg.  Mix thoroughly with a fork.  I wad up a paper towel and place it in the bottom to soak up excess moisture.

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan (less if you’re using a non-stick pan, more if it’s not non-stick).  Scoop about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of potato mixture into a pile in the pan and spread out to about 1/3 inch thickness.  Be careful to keep it in a patty shape. Place as many patties in the pan as you can, leaving about 1/2 inch between patties.  Salt to taste; just a sprinkle to start—you can always add more at the table if you’d like. 

When patty looks dark brown on the edges, carefully flip each patty with a spatula and fry until well-browned on both sides.  Remove to a cookie sheet and place in preheated oven to wait.  Wipe pan with a paper towel.  Add oil & continue frying potato pancakes until you’re done, making sure to wipe pan between batches to remove stray potato strands and excess oil.

Serve warm.

Makes about 6 servings.

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