Introduction: Lazy Latkes -- Quick Gluten-Free, Vegan Potato Pancakes
I feel like every year around Hanukkah, there's a sudden surge in potato pancake recipes on the internet. Most are made with flour, eggs, matzoh, eggs and whatever else but I find that usually the simplest approach is always the best -- culinary lex parsimoniae or something. This recipe contains only the most basic ingredients, yet still maintains all of the rich heartiness, crunchiness and yumminess of any other potato pancake recipe.It comes more-or-less from my family's age-old recipe for deruny/draniki.
Clean and puree a few potatoes, salt to taste and fry in oil. Even though I went ahead and made a page for each step, this is really what this recipe boils (or frys...) down to.
Step 1: Ingredients
- Potatoes -- any kind are fine. I usually use Russets. 1 large potato per person is an OK way to gauge how many potatoes you'll need, but round up -- especially if you're a glutton like me.
- Salt -- just a dash, to taste.
- Garlic -- I love garlic. I usually have to pause for a moment to convince myself to use only half of the garlic I want to use. 2-3 cloves is probably enough for most people.
- Spices -- Paprika is a safe bet, but feel free to experiment.
Step 2: Prep
Peel your potatoes and garlic.
Use a blender, food processor or immersion blender to puree your raw peeled potatoes and garlic. Back in the day, the potatoes would have to be grated on one of the smaller sides of a box grater. If you don't have any of these modern conveniences, grating will still be perfectly fine provided you still grate them finely.
Add salt and optional spices.
Step 3: Fry!
Use a spoon to pour your pancakes into a hot pan with a thin layer of oil. The thinner you spread the batter the crunchier they'll be. Cook on medium heat for maybe 2 minutes per side, always making sure that there's plenty of oil.
I've never been good at knowing how much time has passed so this is probably a better guideline: once you see the edges becoming crispy and brown, flip them over.
Alternately, if you want to be a bit healthier you can just grill them on a griddle -- they'll be a lot less exciting though.
Step 4: Serving Suggestions
When I was growing up these would always be served with sour cream, caramelized onions and crumbled bacon. Any of those toppings is amazing with these savory little things. A few years ago I joined the civilized world and started eating them with applesauce -- also tasty!
I am about to eat this particular batch with some Ajvar, and that will probably be the best yet.