Friday Night Potato Pancakes
As an Italian‒Catholic family of the ’50s, we didn’t eat meat on Fridays. Not just during Lent, but all year round. My mother was quite inventive at finding things to cook for Friday-night dinners, since most of the family (me excluded) didn’t like fish. One of her go-to dishes during the winter months was potato pancakes, which she served with applesauce and sour cream.
This recipe is a jumping-off point for a myriad of dinner ideas. Add minced shallots, scallions or onion, chives or parsley to the potato mixture. Instead of jarred applesauce, serve with cinnamon baked apple cubes. Offer as the main course or as a side to roasted chicken, breaded veal cutlet or roast pork with sauerkraut. Pour Hungarian goulash over the pancakes or top with sautéed onions and mushrooms. Serve with fried eggs and bacon for breakfast, lunch or dinner. And though it can be a bit of a starchy meal, Polish potato-cheese pierogis with caramelized onions are delicious alongside a generous helping of potato pancakes.
friday night potato pancakes
2 lb Yukon Gold or baking potatoes, peeled
1 large egg, beaten
3 tbsp flour (or more, as needed)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp canola oil
Applesauce and sour cream
Using a box grater, shred potatoes, transferring to a bowl of cold water to keep them from turning brown. Once all the potatoes are grated, remove from water and wring potatoes dry with a dish towel. Place in a colander to drain further, patting with a towel until dry.
In a large bowl, combine the shredded potatoes, egg, flour, salt and pepper until well mixed.
In a large skillet, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat. Spoon 1/4 cup of the potato mixture into skillet. Spread the mixture into a 4-inch round with a spatula. Repeat with remaining potato mixture. Work in batches; do not crowd pancakes.
Cook the pancakes about 4 minutes per side, or until golden and crisp, turning once. Keep warm in low oven or serve immediately with applesauce and sour cream.