|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 4g||5%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||6%|
|Total Carbohydrate 42g||15%|
|Dietary Fiber 5g||17%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Polish potato pancakes, known as placki kartoflane or placki ziemniaczane in Polish, are delicious and delightful. This traditional recipe comes from Gwizdały village in the Mazovia region of Poland and it's surprisingly easy.
Traditionally, Catholics eat potato pancakes are eaten on Fridays in Lent as a meat substitute. Many cuisines have their own take on them, including Jewish latkes, Czech potato dumplings, and Lithuanian zeppelins. They offer a rich source of protein and are great on their own or as a side dish, even outside of the Lenten season.
You can add to the flavor of your potato pancakes in a variety of ways. Simply add grated garlic, onion, carrot, parsnips, zucchini, or other vegetables to the batter before frying. They're also really good with chopped bacon. You'll find it best to serve these thin, crispy pancakes hot, either sprinkled with sugar or dolloped with sour cream and applesauce.
Grated raw potatoes can become gray rather fast. You can prevent them from turning dark by soaking them in cold water with either lemon juice, vinegar, or vitamin C powder while you prep the rest of the ingredients. Just be sure to drain and pat them as dry as possible before making the batter—this makes for a crispier pancake, too.
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- 6 medium potatoes (peeled and finely grated)
- 1 medium onion (finely grated)
- 2 large eggs
- Salt (to taste)
- Black pepper (to taste)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or more as needed)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil (approximately, for frying)
- Garnish: granulated sugar, sour cream, applesauce
Gather the ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the potatoes, onion, eggs, salt, and pepper.
Add enough flour to bind the mixture together while leaving it somewhat thin.
In a large, heavy skillet set over medium-high heat, add vegetable oil to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat until hot, but not smoking.
Drop tablespoonfuls of potato mixture into the skillet and spread out to form a 3-inch circle that's about 1/4-inch thick.
Fry until brown on the bottom (don't turn until the pancake is brown or it will stick), about 3 to 5 minutes. If needed, reduce the heat to medium to prevent burning.
Turn the pancake and fry the other side for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
Drain on paper towels.
- If you don't like the idea of grating potatoes by hand, there are a couple ways to get around it. One is to use your food processor with a grating disk. You can simply send potato chunks down the chute and, while the processor is running, add the onion, eggs, seasonings, and flour as well. Use only a portion of the flour and stir in more if needed.
- You can use almost any starchy potato for these pancakes; there's a lot of nostalgia surrounding those made with russet potatoes, but Yukon gold will work, too.
- Frozen hash browns will really save time when you want potato pancakes, although the flavor and texture will be different. Just thaw and drain the hash browns, and mix them with the other ingredients—no grater or food processor needed.
- If you need to make these gluten-free, you can use a gluten-free all-purpose flour mix instead, adjusting the amount as needed. Or, you can simply save grate the potatoes into a bowl and drain off some of the water, leaving the potato starch (it will look milky white) behind to help bind them.
How Do You Keep Potato Pancakes Warm and Crisp?
To keep the potato pancakes crispy and warm until serving, once they're cool enough to handle after they've drained, transfer them to a baking sheet. Place in a 200 F oven to keep warm for several minutes while you continue to prep more pancakes, or whatever else you're going to serve them with.
How to Store and Freeze Potato Pancakes
Like most fried foods, potato pancakes taste best the day they are made, as soon as they're cool enough to eat. But if you have leftovers, you can wrap them in foil or place them in a lidded container in the fridge for a couple of days. To freeze, let them cool completely and transfer them to a zip-close freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months.
The best way to reheat potato pancakes is in a hot oven (about 400 F) directly on the oven rack, for about 5 to 10 minutes until they're crispy, depending on whether they were refrigerated or frozen beforehand.
You can certainly use the microwave to reheat potato pancakes, but the texture may be gummy and not to your liking.