Potato pancakes, also known as latkes, are a traditional Hanukkah meal.
However, even though many of us in the States associate latkes exclusively with Hanukkah,
these delicious pancakes originate from Europe.
To be more precise, they used to be a common peasant food in countries like Austria, Germany,
Russia, and Poland.
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Convenience made potatoes a staple in many European cuisines and a main ingredient in various
European Jews named potato pancakes latkes and made them famous as a traditional Hanukkah dish.
What is in a Latke Pancake?
Latke is a very simple and fulfilling pancake recipe.
The basic variation is made with potatoes, eggs, onions, flour, salt, and oil.
However, there is a wide array of potato recipes that replace regular potatoes with sweet potatoes or
make use of additional ingredients, like veggies, cheese, and various seasonings.
Depending on the country and region, the toppings and sauces vary as well.
In Greece, they are served with tzatziki sauce, Russians eat them with caviar and sour cream, whereas
in Germany they are topped with applesauce.
They can also be topped with bacon, sausage, eggs, sautéed veggies, ketchup or whatever comes to mind!
Why We Love Potato Pancakes
The reason I adore potato pancakes is because they are ideal to use up leftover mashed potatoes.
I usually make them on the day after Thanksgiving or Christmas.
They are super flexible and allow you to include anything you have in the fridge.
You can’t go wrong with latkes!
Potato pancakes are perfect when served as a brunch or light breakfast after heavy holiday feasting.
If you don’t eat all of them at once, revisit them later during the night, or pack them in your kids’
Another upside of these flapjacks is that they can be frozen and reheated in the oven.
Just preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and leave them there for about 2 – 3 minutes!
The Best Potato Pancakes
Why prepare a regular potato pancake recipe when you can make a loaded and flavored one?
2 cups mashed potatoes
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese – or substitute with a vegan cheese alternative
½ cup all-purpose flour
6 bacon strips – eliminate bacon or use a vegan bacon substitute if you are vegan
1 chopped onion
2 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
2 tbsp. fresh chopped basil
2 chopped garlic cloves
2 medium eggs – or substitute with flax eggs or vegan egg replacer
4 tbsp. melted unsalted butter – or substitute with coconut oil or coconut butter
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
Method of preparation
Fry the bacon strips in a large frying pan until crispy.
(If you are using a vegan bacon substitute, follow product prep instructions.)
Place on a paper towel to drain and cool, then cut into small pieces.
Transfer to a medium bowl.
Use two tablespoons of the bacon grease (or vegan oil substitute) and sauté the onion
and garlic in it until soft.
Add to the bowl containing the bacon (or vegan bacon substitute).
Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl, without the butter.
Mix with your hands or with a spoon until incorporated.
In a clean pan, melt the butter (or vegan substitute) over medium-high heat.
Scoop up 1/4 cup of the mixture and form a ball.
Put it in the warm pan and fry for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
Serve immediately, while still warm and crispy with a topping of your choice.
What are your favorite ways to make your potato pancakes awesome?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.