Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Potato Pancakes # Vegan MoFo

I don't mind divulging secrets. Here is mine. I was planning on sharing a Polish tomato salad recipe with you today, but after much contemplation, and friendly shenanigans on the web, potato pancakes WIN. I am not dismayed in any way, and I think you will be pleased with my decision too. 

Gosh by gosh! I haven't had these in a really long time. I am not sure what kept me away from these for so long, but now that I have been reunited, I fear for my figure. 

Anyhow, day three of Vegan MoFo is today and while it is challenging in many ways, it also allows me to discover some old favorites of mine, all over again. For that, I raise my glass to you and all the awesome bloggers participating out there. Cheers!

Potato Pancakes are perfect for My month in Polish food theme.
Ingredients (Makes about 12 small potato pancakes)
4 large yellow or yukon gold potatoes, peeled and grated (not shredded)
1 small onion, peeled and grated
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons potato flour (not potato starch)
Grapeseed oil for frying (any oil with high flash point may be substituted)

Let's start cooking!
Grate the potatoes and onion in a food processor or use a manual grater, like this one.

The consistency should be that of applesauce. 
Transfer the grated potatoes and grated onion to a mesh drainer. Place over a bowl for about 3-4 minutes. Do not discard the liquid that falls to the bottom of the bowl. You will need the starch that forms below...continue reading.

Waiting, but not for too long. 
While the potatoes and onion are draining, preheat a large non-stick skillet over a medium heat with about 1-2 tablespoons of oil.

Meanwhile, place the drained mixture - do not sqeeze the excess liquid - which will still be moist, to a medium sized bowl. Add salt, lots of black pepper, and the potato flour. Now, carefully drain the liquid from the bowl, while keeping the starch that formed on the bottom of the bowl.

Don't mind the liquid that looks like beer...The starch is the secret ingredient to making these potato pancakes. It is an old Polish trick which I now share with you. 
The starch will feel chalky to the touch. Scrape the starch with your hands and add it to the potato pancake mixture. Mix well. The potato pancake mixture should look like this before frying.

Not too wet nor too dry. 
To shape the potato pancakes, break off a piece of the mixture (about 2 tablespoons) and shape it to a flat pancake in the palm of your hands. Fry the potato pancakes in hot oil, over a medium heat, 4-5 at a time, for about 5 minutes on each side until crispy.

Place on a plate lined with paper towel, to absorb the excess oil. Traditionally these are served with sour cream. Some people - my brother - like to eat them sprinkled with sugar. Applesauce is also a good addition. How do you like to eat them?