Archive for the 'Lunches' Category

Potato Pancakes – not just for Jews, really!

Holidays are never easy for divorced families.  Even when everyone is getting along, the logistics make it hard.  While a joint holiday celebration is often considered the ideal, it can also be very confusing to kids who hope and pray that Mom and Dad will get back together.  Whether your holiday tradition is a honey-baked ham for Christmas, a turkey dinner at Thanksgiving, or Latkes for Chanukah, preserving traditions at your house help make it a home.

Potato Pancakes are great for breakfast, especially with eggs, lunch, or dinner.  They freeze easily, and they  make a potato side with any meat or chicken dish.  The key is to making good ones, like with all frying, is to get the oil hot enough and keep it that way.  Hot oil in the pan means less oil in the food.

Ingredients (makes 8-10, serves 4):

  • 3 cups of peeled, grated baking potatoes (about three medium size potatoes)
  • 1 cup of peeled, grated sweet potato (one medium size yam or sweet potato)
  • 1 cup of peeled, grated carrots (about three large carrots)
  • 1/2 cup grated sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • Food processor with grating blade
  • two large mixing bowls
  • colander
  • 10″ skillet
  • spatula
  • vegetable peeler
  • cooling rack


  1. For this recipe, I use a food processor with the grating disc, but you can grate by hand using a box grater.  I put the potatoes and carrots in at an angle so my grated strings are as long as possible.
  2. When all the ingredients that need to be grated are finished, place them in a colander and put the colander over a larger bowl.  Rinse the mixture and let it drain for 15 minutes.  Don’t throw out the drained liquid but carefully pour off the water  on top and leave the starch in the bowl.  This will work with the flour to hold the pancakes together.
  3. Now, add the salt, pepper, nutmeg and flour to the beaten eggs and beat with the potato starch left over from the bottom of the bowl.
  4. Use your hands to mix the potato-carrot  mixture with the egg mixture.  Everything should be well coated and the potato strings should be well tangled.  Let this sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Heat 1/4 inch of vegetable  oil in a large skillet.  The oil should be at least 400 degrees F.  It will shimmer but not smoke when it is ready.  You can test it with a single strand of potato.  It should sizzle and bubble immediately.
  6. Scoop a quarter cup of the mix and form into a pancake.  Place directly in the oil and be careful not to splash it or burn your hands.  Cook each side for four minutes and don’t touch them in between.  I don’t fry more than three in a skillet at a time so they don’t cool the oil.  If the first one isn’t nice and brown on the down side when you turn it, don’t turn the other for another minute or two as they are not ready.
  7. Remove from the oil.  Let drain over the pan first, and then place on a wire cooling rack with paper towel underneath.  After five minutes, place on a plate with a paper towel underneath.

Serve with Sour Cream and/or Apple Sauce.


Cheeseburgers grilled on the stove

I love to make cheeseburgers on the grill outside, but during the winter and on rainy days that’s not realistic.   These 1/4 pound “Sliders” are made inside and served on Potato Rolls.  They are easy to make and I prefer to make extra, and freeze a dozen or so before cooking so I can take 4-6 out of the freezer the night before and let them defrost in the fridge.  For traditional sliders, make twice as many from the same amount of meat and use smaller buns.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 1 lb of ground hamburger
  • 4 slices of American or Cheddar Cheese
  • 4 potato rolls
  • 1 bag potato chips
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Lettuce
  • Sliced Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Pepper
  • 2 tsp Steakhouse spice mix
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire Sauce


  • Stove
  • Large frying pan
  • Spatula
  • Mixing bowl
  • Plate for condiments


  1. Place hamburger meat in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with salt, pepper and steakhouse spice mix. Add Worcestershire sauce.
  2. Mix meat with your hands and roll into balls on a plate.  They should be smaller than a baseball and larger than a golf ball.
  3. Heat your regular frying pan (not nonstick) on the stove at medium/high heat, about 8 out of 10.
  4. Add 2 Tbs of Olive Oil to the pan and let it get hot enough to shimmer.
  5. Place three balls of meat into the oil and press down to size with a metal spatula.  Let cook for three minutes.
  6. Turn burgers over cook for another three minutes.  Don’t press down with the spatula again so the juices stay inside.  They should be clear as they ooze out of the burger naturally, instead of red, which means the burger isn’t quite done.
  7. Add cheese of choice top of each burger and place lid on pan for one more minute.
  8. Place each burger on a bun and serve with chips and condiments on the table.
  9. Make the remaining burgers as above and refrigerate any leftovers.

Grilled Cheese with or without tomato

Here is a recipe for my daughter Maddie’s favorite kind of grilled cheese sandwich.  It’s got lots of butter and uses real cheese.  I love it with tomatoes, and so do many of her friends, but she’s a purist and prefers it plain.


  • Sliced Cheddar or American Cheese (also excellent with Swiss or any kind you like)
  • Sliced bread.  Any kind will work but I prefer Sourdough.
  • 1 bag potato chips
  • Sliced Tomatoes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 4 Tbs of butter, softened.


  • Stove
  • Frying Pan
  • Spatula
  • Sharp Kitchen knife


  1. Heat nonstick frying pan on medium heat.
  2. Butter each slice of bread on one side.
  3. Place bread, butter side down on pan.
  4. Place cheese and tomatoes on unbuttered side of bread and cover with another slice of bread.
  5. Let cook for two minutes or until brown on bottom.
  6. Flip sandwich over carefully, so bread doesn’t slide apart.
  7. Cook for another minute or two, or until bread is evenly brown on both sides.
  8. Serve with potato chips and drink of choice.

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