Archive for the 'Sides' 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.


Nana’s Apple Sauce


  • 1/2 peck apples
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup water


  • stove
  • 5 quart saucepan with lid
  • dry measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • paring knife


  1. Peel, slice and dice apples and place them in pot.  Don’t use the skin or the cores.  Size doesn’t matter since they will loose their shape when cooked.
  2. Combine all ingredients and cook over LOW heat for three hours, stiring occasionally.  Be careful not to let it burn on the bottom.  Mash apple pieces with a potato masher or a wooden spoon as they cook.
  3. Let cool.

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