Sometimes it’s fun to pretend I’m still in my vegetarian phase – I look back on that short period and laugh at myself, it was NEVER going to be sustainable for me to have a diet consisting of things that aren’t ever going to be bacon. This recipe (and many variations of it) appeared in that time and keeps appearing even though I am solidly an omnivore once more.
It all came about recently when we conveniently arrived at S-J’s house just at the right time to see the magical Thornbury produce ute making it’s way down her street. Much excited exclaiming occured, and we tried to think of something delicious to be made for dinner from it’s contents, we came up with potato pancakes and taking inspiration from various web recipes we made a dinner fit for queens.
Potatoes are delicious. It’s an actual fact. I feel it’s pretty safe to say that the potato is the most universally loved vegetable. Fried up into pancakes, as they are in this recipe, with a delicious crunch and soft starchy interior, brings a simple ingredient to an almost heavenly place. So grab your grater, a frying pan and all the condiments you can think of and make yourself a batch of potato pancakes!
They are excellent for a light supper (if you make big ones like we did), or as a canape base if you make smaller ones, or as part of any decent brunch and any size!
Latkes! (Potato Pancakes)
Time: 20 minutes (plus frying time)
Yield: 15 large (palm sized) latkes, enough to feed 3 hungry people for supper/ 30-40 canape sized latkes
Preheat oven to around 150C, you’ll be keeping the fried pancakes warm as you finish frying the whole batch.
1 kg of peeled potatoes (we used Blue Potatoes from the mythical Thornbury produce ute!)
2 onions, peeled and halved
1/2 cup plain flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons fresh sage, sliced into fine strips (thyme, rosemary or any herb you like could be subbed in)
2 tsps sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Optional toppings for supper-style latkes
Bacon/Chicken/all things meat
Note: you will need either a bit of cheesecloth/muslin, or a spare not-too-thick tea towel. A food processor also makes this recipe much easier.
First the vegetables
Fit your food processor with the larger grater blade (or using your hand grater, prepare for a bit of work). Grate all the potatoes and onion together.
In a large bowl, spread out the tea towel with the excess fabric hanging over the bowl. Remove blade and bits from the food processor, and pour/spoon the contents into the fabric. Once the potato and onion mixture is all in the fabric, gather up the sides and begin to wring the liquid out. Do this until no more liquid runs out into the bowl. Discard the liquid and leave the mixture, as is, for about 2 – 5 minutes. Wring out again. Discard liquid.
In the bowl that was catching the liquid from the onions and potatoes, stir together the eggs, flour, sage, salt and pepper. It’ll be quite thick, resist the urge to loosen it up with any more liquid.
Add the well-wrung and hopefully no longer dripping onion and potato mixture to the batter. Using your hands (or S-J’s hands because I am sneaky and really don’t like getting messy) mix together really well for a few minutes. The last bit of moisture left in the potatoes will help to loosen up the batter and it will become a delightfully sticky mixture.
Into the frying pan
If you have a heavy based frying pan or cast iron skillet, use it now, if not, any large frying pan will be fine!
Pour in enough vegetable oil as to coat the bottom of your pan. On a medium heat let it get nice and hot.
Form your latkes into even sized blobs ready to drop into the oil, as you put then in the pan, flatten them out to the size that you are happy with (cook larger ones longer, canape size ones for less time. Also, if making latkes thicker than 1/2 cm, you will need to lower the heat slightly and cook them for longer).
Fry for 2 – 2 1/2 minutes or until a deep golden brown, flipping over gently and frying for a further 2 minutes on the other side. Remove cooked latkes to a plate covered in paper towel to drain off the oil. Keep plate and cooked latkes in a warm oven, repeating the paper towel and latke layers as they cook.
Once all the latkes have been fried, serve with your chosen toppings, and crunch away!
p.s. Q) How do you know if it’s a Katie-post? A) The photos are terrible! Sorry readers!