Potatoes get a bad rap because they are starchy and have a terrible glycemic index (81 according to Harvard), but that won’t stop me from eating ’em!
My first taste of potato pancakes came in kindergarten. It was love at first taste. My favorite food was already mashed potatoes at the time, so potato pancakes were not much of a stretch.
Many of my friends growing up were Jewish and one such friend’s mother was the one who cooked us latkes in kindergarten.
I found this recipe in New American Table, a cookbook by Marcus Samuelsson.
The cookbook is more thoughtful than most, with a generous page long introduction to each section, as well as a paragraph or two for each recipe. It is the product of the chef’s interactions with Americans from all over the US, as well as his own internal reflections on the meaning of being American and how it manifests in American food.
This version is quite tasty and has no eggs which I quite liked. (No spongy eggy texture.) Plus that means this recipe is vegan!
I altered it a bit to my tastes, but you can find the original recipe on Marcus’s website here.
Here is the cast of characters for today’s show.
Start with one pound each of Yukon Gold and Idaho Russet Potatoes, and one red onion. (Marcus’s recipe called for two, but I decided to just use one).
Fit your food processor with the grating disc.
Grate the onions.
I’ve tried grating onion by hand and found it very difficult. The food processor was much easier, but not perfect. Still had some big chunks.
Here is Martha Stewart’s advice for grating onions, including burning a candle to prevent onion tears. I will have to try that.
Here is the mixture after shredding the potatoes.
In a separate bowl, combine 3/4 cup flour, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 minced garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon of paprika.
Combine the two mixtures together and season with some salt and pepper.
Heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Dish out a 1/4 cup scoop of potato mixture and ease into the oil. Flatten into a pancake shape.
These look about ready to flip.
In the words of Dale Gribble, “Shi-shi-shi-shaa.”
Golden, delicious pancakes. (Not to be confused with these pancakes.)
Drain on a paper towel. (Not in Marcus’s recipe.)
Now the recipe said to bake them in a 350 degree oven for ten minutes.
I ate one before this stage and enjoyed it immensely.
After the baking, I found them chewy and tough, so I think I will skip that step next time.
Here is the latke in action, with a dollop of sour cream. Yum!
Simple Vegan Potato Pancakes
- 1 pound Idaho potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 medium red onion, peeled and cubed
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Grate the onion and potatoes in a food processor fitted with grating disc.
- Deposit mixture in a large bowl.
- In a separate medium bowl, mix together flour, cornstarch, garlic, and paprika.
- Add flour mixture to the potato mixture and combine.
- Heat a couple tablespoons of canola oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
- Add 1/4 cup scoops into oil and flatten.
- Gently flip when the edges become golden and the middle looks more cooked and less raw.
- Cook for another couple minutes until the bottom is also golden brown.
- Drain on paper towel.
- Serve warm.
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