How to Make Potato Pancakes

It's worth learning how to make potato pancakes, as they're the perfect accompaniment to any meal--breakfast, lunch or dinner. Potato pancakes, also known as latkes (popular during Hanukkah), are typically made with peeled and grated russet potatoes. The starchy pancakes are bound with egg and flour, flavored with grated onion and, after they're pan-fried, garnished with sour cream or applesauce. It's important the potatoes aren't grated too far ahead of cooking time, as they'll start to turn brown when exposed to the air. Have the other ingredients prepped and ready so once the potatoes are grated, the pancakes can quickly be formed. Another trick to making perfect potato pancakes is to make sure the oil is hot, but not too hot. If the oil is too cold, the pancakes will be greasy because they'll absorb too much of the oil. If the oil is too hot, the potato pancakes will cook too quickly on the outside and stay raw on the inside. Test the oil temperature with a bit of the potato mixture; you want small bubbles to form around the pancake, and the oil should never hit a smoking point.
-Hi everyone, I'm Judith. Well today, we're making Classic Potato Pancakes. Fantastic for breakfast, lunch, or snack. So, what you'll need is 2 1/2 pound of roasted potatoes, peeled, cut in quarters lengthwise and reserved in cold water; 2-1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and more to taste; about 3/4 cup of corn oil; 1 medium yellow onion, diced; 1 large egg; 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour; 1 teaspoon of baking powder; and 1/8 of teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper and sour cream and apple sauce are optional for serving. Alright, so let me explain what we did to our potatoes. So, they were reserved in water and what we did is we put them in our food processor and we grated them and they get nice and finely grated. Then, we transfer them into a colander and sprinkled about 1/2 teaspoon of our salt on top of that. So, we let that drain and cool for about 10 minutes. So, now, we have our potatoes all crushed and grated, looking just as we like them right here. Alright, onto the next part, so, we have our food processor here. What we gonna do is add 1 tablespoon of our oil into here [unk]. We're gonna add our flour, baking powder, onions, and alright, all of that goes in there. Let's put our salt as well in there. Pepper goes in there too, fantastic, alright. So, let's get all potatoes and working in batches. What we're gonna do is gonna take out any excess liquid from the potatoes, so just kind of squeeze them in your hands like that, don't want it to be too runny. What we've got is just you're gonna put it in the food processor. So, I'm gonna squeeze out the excess liquid of the remainder of our potato mixture and pop it all in the food process. So, now, all of our potato mixture is in the food processor with the rest of our ingredients. So, we're gonna pulse that about 10 seconds. Alright and just with the spatula, if there's any on the sides just get them down, and we're gonna pulse for another 10 to 15 seconds. So, now that all our potato mixture is processed, we can transfer that into a large bowl. Be careful of your grater there. Alright and we'll set that aside and prepare our skillet. So, we've added our remaining oil into a large 10 inch skillet right here. Let oil get nice and hot until there's simmer on top of the oil. So, with our potato mixture, we're gonna get a large soup spoon and very carefully, we're gonna in 4 dollops into our mix and what we wanna do I just that flatten it to about 3-1/2 inches and with for the back spoon of the like so. So, we don't wanna overcrowd our skillet, but let's get a good 4 dollops should be good, and it should be doing that bubbling around your pancake. Now, this will cook fairly quickly probably about 3 to 4 minutes. Now, we're lined our plates with some paper towels ready to get rid of our excess grease, very good, alright, so we let them cook away 3 to 4 minutes. Alright, so they've been cooking for a couple of minutes on 1 side. What we're gonna do with metal spatula, we're gonna give them quick turnover exactly how we want them. Nice and golden brown very carefully and we're gonna let it fry on that side for another couple of minutes until they are golden brown. So, it's been cooking away on the other side for about a couple of minutes. So, we're just gonna transfer them onto our paper tower lined plate. Let that excess grease get soaked in there, and we're gonna do exactly the same thing with our remaining potato mixture. So, we fried up all our potato pancakes. They are beautiful golden brown color now, and if you want just at the end, you can sprinkle a little bit of rock salt or sea salt on top of there, and that is gonna be perfect. Alright, so there you go. That's how you make classic potato pancake.

What You'll Need

  • 2 1/2  pounds russet (Idaho) potatoes (4 medium), peeled, cut in quarters lengthwise, and reserved in cold water

  • 2 1/2  teaspoons kosher salt; more to taste

  •  About 3/4 cup corn oil

  • 1   medium yellow onion, diced (about 1-1/4 cups)

  • 1   large egg

  • 2   tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1   teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/8  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  •  Sour cream and applesauce, for serving (optional)

Step By Step

Heat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Set a colander in the sink. Grate the potatoes in a food processor fitted with a medium (4 millimeter) grating disc. Transfer them to the colander and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the salt. Toss and let drain for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.
Meanwhile, replace the processor's grating disc with the chopping blade. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and the onion, egg, flour, baking powder, pepper, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to the food processor bowl.
In batches, squeeze the liquid from the shredded potatoes with your hands. Put the potatoes in the food processor with the other ingredients and process for 10 seconds. Stop the machine, scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula, and process until the mixture is finely chopped, 10 to 15 seconds more. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
Have ready a large plate lined with paper towels. In a 10-inch skillet, heat 1/8 inch of the remaining oil over medium heat until the surface of the oil shimmers very slightly. With a soupspoon, carefully ladle four mounds of the potato mixture into the oil and spread them slightly with the back of the spoon until they are about 3-1/2 inches in diameter. (The oil should be bubbling gently around the pancakes.) Cook until the pancakes are a deep golden color, 2 to 3 minutes. Lift the pancakes with a slotted metal spatula and carefully turn them over. Continue to cook until the second side is a deep golden color, about 2 minutes more. Using the spatula, transfer the pancakes to the paper-towel-lined plate and blot well with more paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Use the spatula to transfer the pancakes to a baking sheet; keep them warm in the oven while you finish the rest. Continue to add oil between batches as needed to maintain the 1/8-inch level of the oil. Serve with the sour cream and applesauce on the side, if using.
Make Ahead:
If you're preparing several batches for a crowd, fry the pancakes, let them cool, and freeze them on baking sheets. Once they're frozen, transfer them to freezer bags. You can reheat the pancakes on rimmed baking sheets in a 350 degrees F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

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