With roots in Eastern European and Jewish cuisine, potato pancakes make a great side dish for just about any meat or poultry entrée. Larger ones are perfect for a dinner side dish. They can be made bite size and used as a base for any number of toppings (salmon, cheese, sour cream, etc.) for appetizers.
For a crispy pancake, use very hot oil for frying, spread the batter thinly and don’t crowd the pan. It’s better to use two frying pans to speed things along rather than crowd the pancakes.
2 pounds baking potatoes (skin on)
1/2 medium-size onion, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoons coarse (kosher or sea) salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 to 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or matzo meal
Duck fat, peanut or vegetable oil, for shallow frying
Coarsely grate the potatoes on a box grater or with the grating blade of a food processor. Squeeze the potatoes as dry as possible (I use a clean dry dishtowel) and place in a large mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.
Heat the fat in a non-stick pan over medium high heat. When very hot, using a measuring cup as a scoop, carefully place about ¼ to ½ cup of the mixture (depending on the size desired) into the hot fat, spread out thinly and fry till golden brown. Flip and cook the other side till browned and crisp.
Serve hot with sour cream or applesauce.
Using a ¼ cup scoop yield is about 1½ to 2 dozen pancakes