Most Eastern Europeans can relate to potato pancakes, known as placki kartoflane, or placki ziemniaczane in Polish, as a typical meal served on Fridays when Catholics were required to abstain from eating meat.
While abstinence from eating meat on Fridays is no longer a requirement by the church, any excuse to eat these thin and crispy pancakes sprinkled with granulated sugar is welcome.
There are many types of potato pancakes including Jewish latkes infused with onion or garlic and served with sour cream and applesauce, and the puffy Czech and Bohemian varieties. Potato pancakes make great sides or they can stand alone.
This recipe is made in a food processor with fresh raw potatoes. Although the flavor and texture will be different, you can really save time by using thawed and drained frozen hash browns. Just mix them with the remaining ingredients and eliminate the food processor.
- 2 large potatoes (baking variety, peeled and cut into chunks that will fit in a food processor chute)
- 3 large eggs (room temperature, lightly beaten)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons flour (all-purpose)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup shortening (vegetable, or oil for frying)
- Insert the grating disk into a food processor. Send potato chunks down the chute.
- While the processor is running, send the eggs, flour, and salt down the chute. Process until well combined. Check out this QUICK TIP to keep your grated potatoes from turning dark.
- In a large, heavy skillet set over medium-high heat, add enough vegetable shortening or oil to come to a depth of 1/4 inch. Heat until hot, but not smoking.
- Drop tablespoonfuls of potato mixture into the skillet and spread out to a 3-inch circle, about 1/4-inch thick.
- Fry until brown on the bottom (don't turn until the pancake is brown or it will stick), about 3 to 5 minutes, reducing the heat to medium, if needed, to prevent burning.
- Turn the pancake and fry the other side 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels.
- Serve with granulated sugar or confectioners' sugar or applesauce and sour cream.
Note: Mix in 2 tablespoons grated onion and/or 1 grated garlic clove and/or 2 tablespoons fried, chopped bacon to the batter before frying, if desired.
Serve Potato Pancakes with These Dishes
- Roast Rack of Pork Recipe: Instead of serving this with roasted potatoes, try accompanying them with potato pancakes and the pan juices from the pork.
- Roast Pork Loin Stuffed with Sausage Recipe: This is another example of Eastern Europeans' love of hiding one food in another food. Potato pancakes would make a great side with this roast.