Wednesday, October 19, 2011

These aren't your mother's potato pancakes

The lure of Mrs. Butterworth's pancake syrup notwithstanding, I might have been the only kid in America who didn't like pancakes.

Or more accurately, I didn't like breakfast pancakes. Show me a plate of potato pancakes at dinner time, and you'd better get out of my way. I could put those things away faster than my mother could make them.

Mom's recipe never varied much. She'd grate the potatoes and onions by hand. If you were prone to such things, you could bet that she'd scrape her knuckles on the grater, and that would be followed by a burst of some colorful language. She'd grumble about having to grate the onions while she got all teary. But back then, there really was no other choice for grating.

Her pancakes were pretty simple - potatoes, onions, salt, eggs, flour - and she made them exactly the same way every time. It wasn't until I grew up and moved out of the house that I discovered exotic pancakes, like zucchini pancakes.

This time, I decided to go really far from the original. Potato pancakes are often served with applesauce, so I thought that putting apples in the pancakes themselves would be pretty good. And then some cheese. And instead of grating onions, I sliced some scallions instead. So much easier, and the bits of green add a pop of color to the pancakes.

Mom often served her pancakes with sour cream. I chose to use Greek-style yogurt instead. I always have that on hand, and it's a little lighter than sour cream.

Potato-Apple-Cheddar Pancakes
makes about 12 pancakes

1 potato
1 apple
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 eggs
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Fruit Fresh or lemon juice
Vegetable or olive oil for frying

Have a bowl standing ready with cold water with the juice of 1/2 lemon or a teaspoon of Fruit Fresh - this will keep your apple and your potato from turning brown.

Peel the potato and grate it into the water (I grated by hand - you can use a food processor to do the grating, if you prefer, but get it into the water as quickly as possible). Peel the apple and grate it into the water as well. You can peel the apple, core it, and grate the pieces, or peel the whole thing and grate it down to the core.

Drain the potato-apple mixture and press out as much liquid as possible Add the onion, cheese, eggs, flour salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Portion dollops of the pancake mixture into the pan, a large spoon full at a time, flattening the pancakes as you go, and leaving room between them to make it easy for you to flip them. Cook one one side until nicely browned, then flip and fry on the second side. Continue cooking in batches, until all the pancake mixture is used up, adding oil to the pan between batches, if needed.

If the finished pancakes seem a bit greasy, let them rest for a moment on a paper towel before moving them to a serving plate.

Serve with Greek-style yogurt or sour cream, if desired.


EA-The Spicy RD said...

Great recipe! My husband likes to make potato pancakes every Christmas. Love you addition of cheese, apples,and scallions. Yum!

The Stepmom said...

Oooohh that sounds good. I've yet to master the potato pancake so I'm ready and willing to give this one a try!

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