Potato pancakes are shallow-fried pancakes of grated or ground potato, flour and egg, often flavored with grated onion or garlic and seasoned with salt and pepper. Potato pancakes may be topped with a variety of condiments, such as sour cream or a horseradish sauce, or they may be served all by them self.
Polish Potato Pancakes or in Polish: Placki Ziemniaczane
Potato pancakes are associated with cuisines of many European and Middle Eastern century-old traditions including Austrian (as Kartoffelpuffer or “Erdäpfelpuffer”), Belarusian (as draniki), Czech (as bramborák or cmunda), German (as Kartoffelpuffer or Reibekuchen), Hungarian (as tócsni and other names), Lithuanian (as bulviniai blynai), Russian (as draniki, драники), Slovak (as zemiakové placky,haruľa or nálečníky), Ukrainian (as deruny).
Placki ziemniaczane was a food staple at the 17th-century Polish monasteries according to written recipe from Stoczek Warmiński.
In the 19th century, especially in times of economic difficulty during
the foreign partitions, potato pancakes often replaced missing bread among the peasants. The lower-quality crops given to field laborers were sometimes turned by them quickly into pancakes to improve taste and prolong freshness. Also, their popularity is closely associated with the historic presence of one of the largest Jewish communities in the world flourishing in Poland.
Polish Style Potato Pancakes (Placky Ziemniaczane)
- 6 large potatoes (grated)
- 1 large onion (grated)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- Salt and pepper for flavor
- 2 egg (lightly whipped)
- Vegetable shortening or vegetable cooking oil
- Grate 1 large onion before the potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl
- Peel, rinse and grate the potatoes and place in the large mixing bowl with the onions
- Add flour, 2eggs (lightly whipped), salt and pepper
- Blend well all the ingredients
- In a large, heavy frying pan or skillet, over medium-high heat, add enough shortening or vegetable oil to come to a depth of about 1/4 inch.
- Heat oil until hot, but not to where the oil starts smoking
- Drop about 3 tbsp amount of the potatoes and spread out to about 3" in diameter
- Add more to make additional pancakes but timing so they all don't finish cooking close to one another
- Fry until brown on the bottom about 3 to 5 minutes, reducing the heat to medium, if needed, so it still cooks to the center but not too hot that it burns before the inside gets cooked.
- Don't turn over until the bottom is golden to light brown.
- Turn the pancake and fry the other side 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Keep adding to make more pancakes until you are out of mixture.
- Potato pancakes may be topped with a variety of condiments, such as sour cream or a horseradish sauce, or just served by themself.
Czech potato pancakes (bramborák)
Placky ziemniaczane is also a very popular dish in Czech Republic and Slovakia (where it’s called zemiakove placky). Czech potato pancake is called bramborák and it is made of grated potatoes with egg, breadcrumbs or flour and seasoning (salt, pepper, and garlic) and is served as it is. Some regional versions blend in dough, sauerkraut, and/or sliced smoked meat.
(Adopted from an article on Wikipedia where you can get more information on the history of potato pancakes all over Europe as submitted by their members)