Food Processor Potato Pancakes

Potato PancakesI have family visiting this week, so obviously my mind turns to food — or more toward food than it normally does. This morning, I am making potato pancakes. I’ve taken of late to making huge numbers of the buggers and freezing them. They reheat in the toaster oven surprisingly well. But today they will be eaten the way they were meant to be eaten: hot off the grill. There really are few things in life that are better.

There is something that I’ve been doing to make my life easier. Instead of grating the potatoes, I use the food processor. This works okay. Or rather: it works okay. But there is a problem. The food processor changes the consistency of potatoes in two ways. First, the strings are not as long. Second, the strings are thicker. There is nothing to be done on the first point. But there is something that can be done on the second.

By processing the potatoes, compressing them into the bottom and processing again, you can get them to roughly the correct thickness. (Don’t use your fingers, for God’s sake!) I find this to be rather a pain to do. But freeing myself of potentially grating my fingers is worth it. And it is necessary. The pancakes just don’t taste right when the potato pieces are too thick.

As for the length of the potato pieces, this doesn’t much affect the taste. But it does affect the visual aesthetic. The pancakes end up looking more like mashed potato pancakes. There is none of the thin edging with the weedy texture. That’s a shame, because I really like that. But there is much to be said for convenience and the lack of pain.

I’m probably out for the rest of the day. We are going sightseeing. (It is morning as I write this.) And wine tasting — hopefully. Have a great evening!

See Also

Potato Pancakes
A Good Idea for Better Latkes
Perfect “Potato Pancakes”

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

2 thoughts on “Food Processor Potato Pancakes

  1. I have had subpar results with raw potatoes. I just cannot squeeze out enough moisture. On the other hand, prebaked or preboiled potatoes that sit in the fridge over night, work very well. They are easy to grate by hand, they are quite dry and they only need a wee bit of egg and flour to bind.

    I am amazed at how people skimp on the oil. For fried potatoes, fried meat, fried meat and potatoes, fried cutlets and fried seafood, one wants abundant and very hot vegetable oil. I think that people skimp on the oil because they think it is healthier but scant oil, relatively cool oil and a crowded pan cause food to be very greasy and oily as well as unappetizing.

    • Good point about the oil! As for the water, I think a cheese cloth is the way to go. But it doesn’t matter that much to me. Based upon my hand squeezing, I’d have to say that potatoes are more water than starch. I did read something interesting recently. It suggested squeezing the water into a bowl. This causes the starch to collect at the bottom, which can be put back into the potato mixture. I haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds like a great idea.

      I’m amazed with how little egg and flour you can get away with. I usually make large batches, and I don’t need more than one egg. But this is one thing that I’m totally intuitive about. I just know when the mixture is about right.

      I don’t think my potato pancakes are all that traditional. For one thing, I put a whole lot more onion in mine than most recipes call for. And sometimes I make garlic potato pancakes. But when I was growing up, my mother made them without any onion at all. If you have a standard recipe you use, please send it along! Or maybe you could write a guest article…

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