Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Passion For Potato Pancakes - Kartoffel Pfannkuchen

Even though I tend towards all things Italian, especially pasta dishes, every once in awhile my German roots begin to show. At these moments I find myself craving Sauerbraten, Spaetzle, Würstchen im Schlafrock, Hassenpfeffer and Black Forest Cake. But above all the aforementioned German delights, I crave Kartoffel Pfannkuchen.

There is just something about potato and onion all fried up nice and flat to really make your taste buds go into overdrive. It is quite a difficult thing to be the one who is frying them up and not start snitching bits of the edges while they are draining; in essence, burning your fingers, but hey, sometimes you gotta be bold and "Carpe Kartoffel". Cause in this family, if you aren't quick, you won't get one. Mom use to have to hide a few in the back of the refrigerator on the top shelf, so dad could have a couple for breakfast the next morning. LOL

What is are Kartoffel Pfannkuchen exactly? It is a shredded potato pancake, technically a Latke... except for the condition of the potatoes. At least for me. I tend to think of Latkes as being made with mashed potatoes, where as Kartoffel Pfannkuchen are always shredded fine, with onion. I know this is wrong, for Latkes are shredded as well as mashed, but it's how I keep the two straight in my head.

No matter WHAT you actually call them, they are absolutely delicious, even if a little bad for you due to the pan frying. But this is another one of my guilty pleasures, especially since I don't eat then that often. I suggest Peanut oil for frying, as you will be frying at about 380-400 degrees. Canola can't cut it and Soybean oil isn't much better. You might be able to get away with Corn oil, but I always have peanut on hand for deep frying.

This is a conversion from the original family recipe, which was kind of vague. 6 medium potatoes and a small onion. I hate measurements like that in recipes. I mean, I know what it means cause I grew up on these, but there is no way that what *I* think is a medium Potato is necessarily what *you* think is a medium potato. And while this works best with Russet Potatoes, if you choose to use Red potatoes, well, a "medium" Russet is bigger than a "medium" Red Potato, so I decided to convert it into weights both "Standard" and Metric. Thus all the chicken scratch from weighing and re-weighing to find an average... LOL

Kartoffel Pfannkuchen

45 oz (1.25 kg) Russet or Red Potatoes, shredded
3/4 cup (3.6 oz) (105 g) AP Flour
3 large Eggs
1 tsp Kosher Salt
5.6 oz (160 g) White Onion, shredded
Peanut Oil for Frying

First you must peel the potatoes. (for while potato skins are tasty, they will burn really easy)

Then prepare a bowl of cold water.

Shred the potatoes into the cold water. (this will remove a small amount of potato starch, since you will be adding flour AND it will prevent the potatoes from browning)

In a separate bowl, whisk the Flour, Eggs and Salt together to fo0rm a "batter".

Stir in grated Onion.

Drain and squeeze most of the moisture from the shredded potatoes and place in a large bowl.

Pour the Flour/Egg/Onion mixture over and toss everything to coat.

Cover with plastic wrap on the surface and let sit for 20 minutes.

Heat 1/4 cup oil in a 12 inch skillet set over medium-high flame. Once it's hot, scoop about 2 TB worth of the "batter" and drop into the skillet.

Working as quickly as possible, use the back of the spoon to spread the "batter" so that it is lacy.

Fry until the edges become medium brown before flipping them over and frying the other side. (about 2 minutes per side)

Drain on paper towels before sprinkling with a little salt and pepper.

And serve with a little dollop of sour cream if desired. (Though I more often just eat them plain)



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ancameni said...

They do look good. My family at home enjoyed them with Applesauce. there is just something about "Kartoffelpuffer" and Apple Sauce that goes together.....Memories

Patti T. said...

My friends ordered these at a German restaurant we visited while on vacation the other week, they just kept saying mmmmmmmm, they go theirs with applesauce. I can't eat onions so I usually only eat them when I make my own. I would rather have them with the sour cream or plain. Oh yes, and I had the red cabbage AND spaetzle with my meal, yumm yumm.