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Flipping over some potato pancakes

April 25, 2012
By ESTHER MCCOY - Food editor (community@heraldstaronline.com) , The Herald-Star

If the potato could have a nationality, it would be Irish and is sometimes called by this name, along with white potato, as opposed to the sweet potato that is a bright orange or a dusky gold color.

This is a versatile tuber vegetable and is great in french fries, as any child will tell you; mashed, a favorite for Thanksgiving; baked, for those who like the crispy outside and the fluffy interior; and diced, for summertime potato salads.

How ever the potato is preferred, it's a popular side dish from babies eating solid food for the first time to older adults.

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VERSATILE?DISH — Potato pancakes can be used for any meal of the day. Grating raw potatoes is the biggest problem in their preparation, but they’re worth the effort. The pancakes can be served with applesauce as a dinner side dish.
-- Esther McCoy

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Potato pancakes are a real treat and one that my own mother made on occasion. My sister, Dorothy Toth, is carrying on the tradition as she makes them as well.

This recipe is from the Family Favorites Cookbook given to me by a wonderful lady who no longer has her children at home so that she can prepare large meals, much like me. But I keep making all the different foods anyhow.

Potato Pancakes

4 to 6 medium potatoes, enough to make 3 cups grated

1 small onion

2 eggs

3 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup milk

Grate potatoes and onion. Add eggs, mixing well. In another bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder. Combine with potato mixture and add milk. Pour small amounts onto a lightly oiled hot griddle. Fry until golden on both sides. Makes 16 medium-size pancakes.

Note: As I grated the potatoes, I put them in a bowl of cold water with a tablespoon of lemon juice added. This kept them from turning dark before I was finished with the grating. I drained and squeezed the grated potatoes dry before using them.

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This is an easier way to make potato pancakes, using mashed potatoes. It is from a wonderful cookbook I received called "Everyday Exotic, the Cookbook."

"I like them because they are quick, hearty and have a delicious crust, the authors/cooks said. Here is an easier way to make them than by grating the potatoes and your fingers.

Potato Pancakes,

the Easy Way

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

5 cups chunky, mashed potatoes from 5 peeled Yukon gold potatoes, preferably, but can use any kind of potato

1 bunch green onions, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, beat egg with 1/2 cup of the milk. Add flour and mix well. Add garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add remaining milk and mix well. Add mashed potatoes and mix well. Add green onions and incorporate them evenly into the mixture. Heat vegetable oil in an ovenproof saute pan over medium-high heat. Once pan is hot, spoon the pancake mixture into the pan in four pancakes. Add butter to the pan. Flatten the pancakes for even cooking and cook for 4 minutes on top of the stove and then flip over and cook 4 minutes more. Place the pan in the oven for 5 minutes until the potato cakes are brown and cooked through. Serves four.

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This cream of mushroom soup also contains shredded potato and carrot. It beats the canned version by far for a nice lunch, to be eaten along with a sandwich. The recipe is from the Family Favorites Cookbook as well.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

3/4 pound of mushrooms

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 large or 2 medium potatoes, shredded

1 carrot shredded

1 1/2 quarts chicken broth

1/2 cup barley, rinsed

1 cup half and half

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Clean and chop mushrooms. Heat a tablespoon oil in a large skillet. Saute mushrooms over medium heat until water has evaporated, about 9 minutes. Set aside. In a large pot, heat remaining oil and saute onion until transparent. Add shredded potatoes, shredded carrot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth and bring to a low boil. Keep at a steady boil until vegetables are tender. Add mushrooms and barley and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove about 80 percent of the vegetable mixture and puree. Stir back into pot. Add half-and-half and heat through. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

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This recipe is from Dawn Hall's Busy People's Low Fat Recipes Cookbook. It is her third cookbook, starting with the one she first put together in trying to keep her husband in good health while he was fighting brain cancer. Also, it was to earn money to help pay for his experimental brain cancer treatments. She published the cookbook without knowing how to type, use a computer or knowing anything about publishing, showing that unrealistic things can be accomplished when the life of someone you love is on the line.

Parmesan Potatoes

3 tablespoons grated fat-free Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic salt or powder

1 pound package frozen french fries, those with no more than 3 grams of fat per 100 calories

Non-fat butter-flavored cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-fat cooking spray. Put Parmesan cheese, pepper and garlic salt in a large plastic bag. Shake until well mixed. Put fries in bag with seasonings. Shake until well coated. Pour entire contents of bag on prepared cookie sheet. Spray seasoned fries with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Makes four servings with 111 calories and 6 percent fat calories per serving.

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If you like German potato salad, Dawn Hall guarantees that you will like this dish. It takes 25 minutes to complete and is budget friendly.

Hot Potato Salad

4 large potatoes with skins left on, about 2 pounds

1 tablespoons minced garlic (She uses the kind in a jar.)

3/4 cup fat-free red wine vinegar salad dressing

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

1 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese

3-ounce jar real bacon bits

Poke holes into the potatoes with a fork. Microwave for about 10 minutes or until fully cooked. Put into the freezer to cool for 3 or more minutes. Cut into bite-size chunks, leaving skins on. In the meantime, mix garlic, salad dressing and chives together until well blended in large serving bowl. Gently stir potatoes, cheese and bacon bits into the dressing. Microwave 3 to 4 minutes and serve. Makes 14 servings of 1/2 cup at 91 calories each serving.

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"Everyday Exotic, the Cookbook," by Roger Mooking and Allan Magee, has an interesting recipe for potato gumbo. "Cajun food just smacks you in the head and shouts in your face. Every now and again a smack in the head is a good thing," the writers said of this recipe. "Fill up a bowl and eat it like chili," they suggested.

Potato Gumbo

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 medium white onion, diced

6 slices smoked bacon, large dice

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, diced

1 bunch Swiss chard, roughly chopped with leaves and stems separated

Large green bell pepper, diced

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2 baby leaves

2 cups water

2 cups chicken stock

Pinch cayenne pepper

2 pounds white potatoes, peeled and quartered

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in large high-sided saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until golden brown. Add smoked bacon and garlic and continue to saute until bacon is crispy. Mix in the celery, Swiss chard stems and green pepper and continue to saute until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat, place in a bowl and set aside. Heat remaining oil in same saute pan and add flour and bay leaves. Stir with a wooden spoon, incorporating the flour and oil to form a paste. Cook until the flour becomes nutty brown in color. Add water, chicken stock and cayenne and stir. Add potatoes and reserved bacon mixture and cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender and liquid has been reduced to give a thick consistency, about 30 minutes. Add the Swiss chard leaves and season with salt and pepper. Allow the potato gumbo to cook until the leaves are wilted. Serves four.

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Dragana Lazic, culinary expert at the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County, Schiappa branch, with cooking classes each month on the third Monday at 6 p.m., distributed a brochure with 10 easy things to do with potatoes. One of them was for a chocolate potato cake. Here it is.

Chocolate Potato Cake

2 cups sugar

1 cup softened butter

4 eggs

4 ounces melted unsweetened chocolate

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup mashed potatoes

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup yogurt

Beat sugar and butter until creamy. Add eggs and melted chocolate and vanilla and combine. Add mashed potatoes. Add the combined dry ingredients of flour, baking soda and salt alternately with the yogurt. Transfer to a greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Frost with your favorite icing. the cooked caramel kind would be delicious.

(McCoy can be contacted at emccoy@heraldstaronline.com.)

 
 

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