Comforting classic potato pancakes made with a simple combination of potatoes, onions, eggs, and four. You can flavor potato pancakes with a little garlic, herbs, and scallions. Potato pancakes are pan-fried to a golden perfection, creating crispy texture outside and soft on the inside. Serve them with sour cream or applesauce.
Classic potato pancakes make a wonderful comforting weekend breakfast. Every time I make them, my husband says he is transformed back to his childhood. I have the same reaction and while he likes his potato pancakes with applesauce, I love them with sour cream.
It might be a cultural thing because until I met him, I’d never heard of eating potato pancakes with applesauce. In Russia, we always had them with sour cream and fresh dill weed. Potatoes and dill weed, in general, go so well together, I always add it to my potato dishes.
Basic potato pancakes are made with a simple combination of potatoes, onion, eggs, and flour. It’s also seasoned with salt and pepper. But why not add some more flavor and throw in garlic powder, herbs, scallions, or even some paprika?
While I like just a hint of dill weed and garlic powder, you may want to play around with other herbs and spices. You can even create several batches at a time and freeze them to be easily reheated throughout the week.
HOW TO MAKE POTATO PANCAKES
To make potato pancakes, you can use either a food processor or a box grater. Choose either tool, depending on what kind of texture is desired and how much work you want to put into preparing the batter.
A box grater can be used in several different ways depending on the texture that you want. Use the large grater side with the widest holes if you want more of a shredded potato look. Although, the onion will still need to be done on the fine side.
To achieve a finer texture, use small shredding holes. A small shredding side can be used for both, potatoes and onion.
If you want the finest texture, use the rough side with holes that stick out. Those will create the finest texture and smaller pieces of potatoes and onions. Be careful using this side because those little spikes can be sharp.
Making Potato Pancakes Using Box Grater:
Once you’ve decided on the texture and which side of the grater to use, peel and grate potatoes and onions. Transfer grated potato and onion mixture into a fine strainer and set it over a mixing bowl. This way, all the liquid will drain into the bowl. (If the grated potatoes and onion mixture is fine, place it into either a mesh vegetable bag or doubled cheesecloth first, and then into the fine strainer.)
Press on the mixture to get the liquid out. The goal is to get most of the liquid out.
Once the liquid has been strained out, discard the liquid from the bowl carefully. NOTE: you will see the accumulation of white powdery stuff in the bottom of the bowl, that is starch. Don’t discard starch, you will need to mix it into the pancake batter. Drain off the liquid but not the starch.
Add squeezed potatoes and onions to the bowl with starch and add eggs, flour, salt, garlic powder, and herbs. Mix everything well.
Pour oil into a wide cooking pan to fill it only about 1/4 inch full. Preheat oil to 350°. Depending on the stove, set the heat to medium or medium-low.
NOTE: the batter will be soft but you should still be able to form patties. This potato batter is not sticky and a formed patty will be able to slide off the hand easily. Do be careful when placing patties into the hot oil.
Form patties out of the dough that are about 1/2 inch thick. Add patties to hot oil and fry for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden-brown. Time will vary depending on the size of the patties, so try to make them all the same size.
Making Potato Pancakes Using Food Processor:
Using a food processor to make the potato pancakes is fast and easy. Blending in the food processor will yield a fine texture of the potatoes and onions, but you can also use the shred attachment if that texture is desired.
Peel potatoes and onions and cut each into quarters. Place vegetables into the food processor and pulse until there are no more chunks. NOTE: depending on the size of the food processor, you may need to blend it in batches.
Transfer potato and onion mixture into either a mesh vegetable bag or doubled cheesecloth first and into a fine strainer. Set the strainer over a mixing bowl. This way, all the liquid will drain into the bowl. Squeeze out the liquid well.
Follow the rest of the steps the same as above to prepare potato pancakes.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH POTATO PANCAKES
The most traditional and classic way to serve potato pancakes is topped with applesauce or sour cream.
Sour cream can be flavored with different herbs to compliment the flavors of the pancakes.
Top off each pancake with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheese, and bacon for a hearty brunch option.
Potato pancakes complement a classic breakfast of eggs, bacon, and sausage very well.
If you want to get adventurous, try dipping potato pancakes into ranch dressing.
For more brunch ideas, top off potato pancakes with lox, chicken, or cheese.
HOW TO FREEZE POTATO PANCAKES
To freeze potato pancakes, cool them first to room temperature. Place them on a cutting board covered with parchment paper in one layer and freeze for about 2 hours.
Once potato pancakes are frozen, transfer them into a large zip-lock freezer bag. Get all the air out of the bag and seal it.
Label the bag and freeze it for up to 3 months.
Potato pancakes can also be portioned into several smaller freezer bags. Portioning them will make it easier to defrost and reheat one serving at a time.
To thaw frozen potato pancakes, pull the bag out of the freezer into the refrigerator and slaw-thaw overnight.
To reheat them, you can simply place them on a plate and reheat them in the microwave, covered with the plate cover.
If you want to recreate a little crunch on the outside, reheat them in the cooking pan covered with a lid, over medium heat. Use non-stick pan that way no additional oil will be needed.
SOME MORE RECIPES TO TRY:
- 3 lbs potatoes Idaho or Russet
- 1 medium onion
- 2 eggs
- 2-3 tbsp all purpose flour (can substitute gluten free all purpose flour)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp fresh minced dill weed
- fresh cracked black pepper
- To make potato pancakes, you can use a box grater or a food processor. Box grater can be used to create a shredded texture of potatoes or a fine texture. Food processor can be used to blend potatoes and onions into fine texture. You can also use food processor with a large grate attachment to quickly create shredded potatoes.
Potato pancake batter:
- One you’ve decided on the texture and which tool to use, peel potatoes and onions.
- Grate potatoes and onions or pulse them in a food processor until there are no more chunks.
- Transfer potato and onion mixture into a fine strainer and set it over a mixing bowl. This way, all the liquid will drain into the bowl. (I highly recommend that you place the mixture into either a mesh vegetable bag or doubled cheese cloth first, especially if potato mixture is finely blended, and then into the fine strainer.)
- Press on the mixture to get the liquid out. The goal is to get most of the liquid out.
- Once the liquid has been strained out, discard the liquid out of the bowl carefully. NOTE: you will see accumulation of white powdery stuff in the bottom of the bowl, that is starch. Don’t discard starch, you will need to mix it into the potato pancake batter. Drain off the liquid but not the starch.
- Add squeezed potatoes and onions to the bowl with starch and add eggs, flour, salt, garlic powder, and dill weed. Mix everything well.
Cooking potato pancakes:
- Pour oil into a wide cooking pan filling it only about 1/4 inch full. Preheat oil to 350°. Depending on the stove, set the heat to medium or medium-low.
- NOTE: the batter will be soft but you should still be able to form patties. This potato batter is not sticky and a formed patty will be able to slide off the hand easily. Do be careful when placing patties into hot oil.
- Form patties out of the dough that are about 1/2 inch thick. Add patties to hot oil and fry for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden-brown.
- Take them out with a metal slotted spoon and gently shake off excess oil. Place potato pancakes onto a paper towel to soak some excess oil before serving.