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Project Pantry: Potato Pancakes

This week’s simple meal? Potato pancakes!

With just a few basic ingredients, you can easily whip up a batch of hearty and flavorful potato pancakes for a quick and delicious meal or side dish the whole family will enjoy.

Ingredients you may need:
Russet potatoes
Yellow onions
Eggs
Salt
Pepper
Herbs and spices
Apple sauce
Sour cream
Ketchup

Tools you may need:
Knife or vegetable peeler
Food processor, box grater, or mandoline
Mixing bowl
Large, heavy skillet
Oil (canola, vegetable, peanut, or corn)
Spatula
Baking sheet with a wire rack
Paper towels
Clean kitchen towel
Colander

potato pancake ingredients

Photo source: Samantha Kennedy

Gather your ingredients. A pound of potatoes will make about a dozen pancakes, so use as many potatoes as you need for your family. I use 2 small to medium yellow onions and 2 large eggs per pound of potatoes. Salt and pepper are standard seasonings, but feel free to add any fresh or dried herbs or spices you’d like.

NOTE: Be careful when adding herbs and spices. A little can go a long way. Remember, dried herbs have a more intense flavor, so only use about 1/4 the amount you would use for fresh.

 

potato and onion shreds

Photo source: Samantha Kennedy

Peel the onions and potatoes. Shred them using a box grater, a mandoline with a shredding blade, or in a food processor using the grater disc. Place the shredded vegetables on a clean dish towel, gather up the edges of the towel, and squeeze out the excess liquid. You may also use cheese cloth or a colander. If using a colander, place the shredded veggies in the colander and press out the liquid with your hands.

Place the shredded and drained vegetables in a large mixing bowl.

 

premixed potato pancake ingredients

Photo source: Samantha Kennedy

Add the eggs, salt, pepper, and other herbs and spices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

mixed potato pancake ingredients

Photo source: Samantha Kennedy

Mix ingredients until well-combined.

NOTE: I find it easiest to use my hands to mix the ingredients. If you decide to use your hands, make sure your hands are washed well before and after mixing.

 

 

 

 

oil for frying potato pancakes

Photo source: Samantha Kennedy

Heat about a 1/4-inch of canola, vegetable, corn, or peanut oil in a large, heavy skillet until very hot (but NOT smoking).

NOTE: The oil is hot enough when it shimmers and a drop of water dropped in it sizzles.

 

 

 

 

pressed potato pancakes in oil

Photo source: Samantha Kennedy

Place several small dollops of the potato mixture in the oil, making sure not to crowd them. Flatten each one slightly with a spatula.

Cook until medium-brown on one side.

 

 

 

 

potato pancakes frying in oil

Photo source: Samantha Kennedy

Flip the pancakes over to cook the other side until medium-brown.

Remove the potato pancakes from the oil and drain. You can drain them on a sheet pan fitted with a wire rack or on paper towels to absorb the oil.

NOTE: If draining on a sheet pan with a wire rack, you can do so in an oven turned to low heat in order to keep them warm while the other pancakes are cooking.

 

Repeat the previous two steps until all the pancake mixture has been used.

NOTE: The pancake mixture will become wet over time. DO NOT re-drain or squeeze out the excess.  Just shake off as much liquid from the dollops of mixture as possible before putting them in the oil. Very wet pancake mix will cause excess spatter of the hot oil.

You may need to replenish or replace the oil as you go, as it may start to burn over time.  Make sure the new oil is hot enough before adding the pancake mixture.

Serve the pancakes hot with a side of sour cream, apple sauce, or even ketchup. Enjoy!

For more recipe ideas, check out the rest of the Project Pantry series.

Additional Resources

Facts about Fats and Oils (UF/IFAS)
Deep Fat Frying and Food Safety (USDA)

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