Potatoes are a staple in most central and eastern European kitchens, and they were certainly present in our home growing up. Potato pancakes, or better known as “placki ziemniaczane” in Polish, are a comfort food that my mom would make during the cold winter months. We would eat them with a small dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of chives and a bowl of goulash.
I loved potatoes growing up, don’t know what it was about them but they were definitely my favourite side dish. Nowadays, we hardly ever eat potatoes which probably has something to do with the fact that my son isn’t a fan. But recently, I made these for dinner and surprisingly enough everyone seemed to enjoy them.
My mom used to make potato pancakes from raw potatoes, but I wanted to see if I could get the same desired taste by using pre-cooked potatoes. These certainly did not disappoint!
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- 4 to 6 large potatoes (approx. 4½ cups when grated)
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, put through a press
- 3 tablespoons butter, additional for frying
- ⅓ cup unbleached flour
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon marjoram
- 2 large eggs
- Boil potatoes until nearly done. You will know they are the right consistency when you pierce them with a fork in the centre and they feel slightly under cooked.
- Cool potatoes. Peel and grate on the largest holes of a grater. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
- In a medium pan saute onion and garlic in butter on low heat until golden. Stir in flour slowly into the cooked onion and garlic. Add pepper, salt and marjoram. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add onion/flour mixture to potatoes. Mix in eggs with your hands.
- You may find that the mixture is very sticky at this point. If so, add another ¼ cup of flour and keep mixing with your hands.
- Form into 12 small/medium sized pancakes and set on a large plate/cutting board.
- In a large skillet, on medium-low heat, cook pancakes in butter on both sides until a deep golden brown. You may be tempted to flip them right way - do not do this. They will break apart. Wait a few minutes until you can see/smell that they are starting to get crisp and then flip them gently. As well, do not crown the pancakes.
- Serve them with chives/green onion, sour cream or apple sauce.