When I say, “potato pancakes,” you likely head right to, “Hanukkah.” But I think March is the ideal month for frying up a batch. They bridge winter and spring, a hearty comfort food that pairs perfectly with an early season salad — a few spinach leaves, some lettuce from our cold frame, sprouts we’re growing on our kitchen counter and maybe a forgotten radish from the garden. Latkes are a great way to use those last wrinkled potatoes that have sat so quietly in their bulk box since summer. Potato pancakes are crunchy and tasty and filling any time of year, for sure. But scramble up a few eggs the hens are laying again after their winter break or sauté an ambitious asparagus you’ve found shooting up from the just-beginning-to-warm dirt along with the latkes … and you’ve got yourself a hard-to-beat early spring meal.
Serves 4-6 for dinner
- 4 cups grated potatoes (about 4 large potatoes)
- 1 cup grated or finely diced onion (1 medium onion)
- 4 eggs
- 2½ tsp. fine sea salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp. ground paprika
- 4 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour (or a gluten-free flour)
- butter for frying in the pan
- Peel potatoes. Then, using a food processor with a grating disk or a box grater, shred potatoes. Place them in a square of cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out as much excess water as possible. Set aside.
- Grate onion in the food processor (using the medium shredding disk) or finely dice.
- Mix potatoes, onions, eggs, spices and flour in a large mixing bowl. Stir until all is well combined.
- Preheat oven to 200°F.
- Warm cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Melt 1/2 Tbsp. of butter in the pan.
- Using 1/3 measuring cup, scoop mixture into skillet. Cook roughly 5 minutes on first side, then flip. Cook 5 minutes on next side. These will be thick pancakes. If you want them thinner use less batter and flatten with a spatula while frying.
- Place cooked pancakes on a cookie sheet in the oven to keep them warm as you work through the batter.
- Continue to scoop and fry until the batter is done. Try frying three pancakes at a time, adding 1/2 Tbsp. of butter to the skillet with each round of frying. Serve warm.