Crispy potato pancakes one of the yummiest and mouth watering snack that most of us love to gorge on. Potato is one exceptional ingredient that most of the kids are ready to eat even if cooked everyday. There are a variety of recipes made from potato such as potato chips (French fries), potato fry, potato masala, fried potatoes curry etc. Potato is a very versatile ingredient that can be cooked on its own or mixed with any vegetable or meat or poultry.
Crispy potato pancakes is an easy to make snack, does not take much cooking time and taste remarkably delicious topped with apple sauce and sour cream. Yum and super yummy! Potato pancakes are generally shallow fried pancakes made of grated or ground potato, all purpose flour and egg. It is often flavored with grated onion or garlic and seasoning. Once done, these crispy pancakes are topped with a variety of savory to sweet condiments. Popular condiments used are the sour cream or cottage cheese and apple sauce or sugar. They can also be eaten without any garnish.
The pancakes are sometimes made from mashed potatoes to produce attractive and nicely shaped croquettes. Potato pancakes is the national dish of Belarus. In Ukraninian, Belarusian and Russian cuisine, these pancakes are commonly known as deruny or draniki. This dish is a very common menu item during festivals in winter seasons and roadside street food stalls.
There are many variations in making of this in different countries. The Rosti from Swiss cuisine differs in so far as it never contains egg or flour. Whereas in the North-East of England (particularly County Durham), there is a popular dish known as ‘Taty Fish’ – Taty being the local slang for potato, and Fish because the pancake resembles a deep fried piece of fish. The pancake consists of flour, eggs, shredded potatoes and onions. Some people add tomato and/or cheese to the mix, depending on taste. The Swedish version of unbound potato pancakes is called rårakor. When prepared with a batter of wheat flour, milk, egg, and shredded potatoes and fried like thin pancakes, they are called raggmunk, the word “ragg” means crispy and “munk” derives from the Swedish “munkpanna”, which is literally translated as donutpan. Both kinds are enjoyed with fried pork and lingonberry jam.
For preparing delectable crispy snacks, using a cheese grater, shred the potatoes and quickly transfer into a large bowl of cold water. Grate a onion and add to the bowl. Allow it to rest for 20 minutes. In another bowl, add the eggs, flour, salt, pepper and cayenne to another large mixing bowl and whisk all ingredients until smooth and keep aside.
Drain all the potato mixture into a colander, pressing down to squeeze out as much water as possible. Line a baking sheet with several layers of paper towels. Take a handful of the potato mixture from the colander, and squeeze as hard as possible to extract even more water. Place the “dry” potatoes on the paper towels. Repeat process until all the potato mixture has been squeezed dry. Spread the potatoes evenly on the baking sheet and press down with some dry paper towels. Remove the paper towels and transfer the potato mixture to the bowl with the egg mixture. Use a spatula to combine thoroughly.
Pour about 1/4 inch of vegetable oil into a large heavy bottomed skillet (preferably non-stick). Place over medium-high heat, and when the oil is hot (the surface will begin to simmer), spoon about 1/3 cup of the potato mixture into the pan, shape into a round, and flatten to about 1/2-inch thick. Turn down the heat to medium, and fry the potato pancakes for about 5 minutes on either side, or until browned and crispy.
Remember, as the potatoes are raw, do cook them well. There is nothing worse than raw potatoes! You can probably fry 4 potato pancakes at a time. Drain on paper towels.
Tips: The consistency of the batter should not be too thin. If you like softer pancakes, spread the batter in a thicker and smaller round. You may make 4-5 at a time depending on the size of your frying pan / tava. For crisp pancakes, you can spread a little thinner circle. If egg is added, no need to add that pinch of soda. Remember to prepare the pancakes immediately after the potatoes are grated as they change color and become black after some time. Put them in cold water as soon as they are grated. Squeeze the potatoes well before using for pancakes. Rinsing the potatoes removes a lot of the starch and makes for a cleaner, crisper potato. If not they get grey gluey ones.
Potatoes are easier to prepare and healthier when cooked with their skins on. Sources say that, a medium sized potato has no fat, no cholesterol and contains only 110 calories. By eating one medium sized potato, you will receive 45% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C — a great antioxidant. Potatoes contain 21% of the recommended daily value of potassium — a great way to build stronger bones. Potatoes contain 26g of carbohydrates, only 9% of the recommended daily value. Complex carbohydrates are a great source of energy for the body.