Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Placki Ziemniaczane - Potato Latkes

I've noticed lately a lot of fuzz about potato latkes/pancakes. I see recipes on-line and in magazines, there are a variety of recipes for this simple dish. Potato latkes are very familiar to me as I am Polish and those are very popular in Poland. I remember my grandma used to make them all the time, we used to melt swiss cheese on top and eat it with ketchup - it tasted so great. Puts smile on my face!
I made those on several occasions, and always turned out great. It's such an easy dish to make, and it can be fun. You can serve those a side dish, they are great as an appetizer - if you make them smaller size, topped with a little sour cream and dill, maybe even smoked salmon... possibilities are endless...

Polish name for potato latkes is Placki Ziemniaczane - and for those who don't know what I am talking about - those are shallow fried pancakes, made out of grated potatoes, grated onion, egg, and little flour. Potato latkes are associated with traditional Czech, Ukraine, Polish and German cuisine, also popular in many other eastern European countries.

Here is the polish traditional way I remember, to make the potato latkes:

  • 2 lb. of potatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-2 TBS flour
  • salt
  • pepper

Make sure potatoes you are using are not the new potatoes, they usually have higher water content, it's better to use older, larger potatoes. I usually shred them in the food processor on my shredding disc, but I used to use the old fashion grater... like the one of the picture :)

Once the potatoes are shredded, you might want to squeeze the access water, the latkes will be crispier if you get the water off. Shred the onion also, mix it with potatoe mix, egg, flour and season to taste. I like to add a little bit of greenery to my mixture, chives are usually good, they blend with the flavor. If your mix is too runny, add little more flour, it all depends how watery the potatoes you using are.
Preheat the non-stick pan, with canola oil, and once the oil is hot, pour 3 separate pancakes on the pan.

Those taste the best straight from the pan - while fresh and crispy.

Sunset magazine published an article about potato latkes , you can find few recipes with an interesting take on this traditional dish, and also tips how to make them crispy.

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