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Lew Larason: Thoughts from an Epicure — Potato pancakes are worth the extra effort


Recently, a friend asked about potato pancakes.

They’re an old dish made in many countries and during Hanukkah, which our friends call Latkes.

They may take a little longer to prepare than “standard” pancakes. But the time spent is well worth it. Most “regular” cookbooks have a recipe, including “The Joy of Cooking.” I have a recipe that I’ve had for quite some time. I don’t know where I got it. However, I’m sure I’ve altered it through the years to suit my taste.

Lew’s Potato Pancakes

Using a medium grater

3 cups of grated potatoes

¼ cup grated onion

2 eggs, slightly beaten

2 Tablespoons flour

Shortening or oil for frying – I use mild olive oil.

Pare the potatoes before grating. Once grated, drain well. I wrap them in paper towels and squeeze to remove any moisture. Old, large potatoes have the least amount of moisture in them. In a large bowl, put the potatoes, onions, eggs, and flour. Gently mix well.

In a large skillet, add the oil to about 1/8-inch. Enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Heat to medium hot. Be careful – if it’s too hot, they’ll burn. If the oil isn’t hot enough, you still can use the “sample” pancake after you’ve turned up the heat a bit. To cook, put about 2 tablespoons of potato mixture in skillet and flatten to make two 4-inch pancakes. Add more to the skillet. Turn each after 2 or 3 minutes, until golden in color. Drain on paper towels and keep warm.

I like them with applesauce, but you can top them with anything you like or with nothing at all. The main thing is to cook and enjoy them. These might be good as a Thanksgiving breakfast!

Happy Thanksgiving and stay safe!


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