You are probably asking yourself what part of potato pancakes are Italian. Nothing! But guess what? I don’t eat Italian food daily but I do think about it daily, that counts right? Plus we love a variety of foods so I cook a lot of ethnic dishes.
I have a class scheduled for the end of the month which features meatless meals so I was testing a new recipe, Apple and Cheese Stuffed Potato Latkes. From the beginning of this recipe, I knew I was going to have a bit of trouble. First it said to use raw potatoes but my sister, who makes fantastic potato pancakes, said she always parboiled the whole potato before shredding which removes the water and starch so the batter is not runny. If you parboil them you end up with cooked potatoes instead of that raw taste of potatoes in the inner pancake. I hope this makes sense! The second part about this recipe is that latkes are not normally made stuffed with anything. The directions to make the applesauce to put in the middle of the pancakes was difficult and never turned out like it should have. The apples never cooked down to applesauce consistency so I ended up serving the cubed apples alongside the pancakes. We never had the cheese either. I’m going to share the recipe for the dish I ended up with instead of the one I set out to create. I was inspired by the original from The Kitchn.
Potato Pancakes with Fried Apples
6 medium white potatoes, peeled
3-4 Tbsp flour
Salt and Pepper
1 medium onion, diced
Oil or shortening for frying
Put the peeled whole potatoes in a pot of water, filling to cover the potatoes. Parboil, which means to cook until you can just barely get a knife into the flesh of the potato without much force. Drain and let cool. When cool, shred with a box shredder or using the shredding blade on a food processor. Mix the shredded potatoes and onion in a large bowl. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl then add most to the potatoes/onion and mix until all of the potatoes have the shiny look of being coated with the eggs. Add in the flour and about 1 tsp salt and some fresh ground pepper, use more or less depending on your tastes. Mix all well. Heat a few tbsp of canola oil or shortening in a skillet on med-high heat. When oil is shimmering add about 1/3 of a cup of potato mixture to the pan and flatten. Add several to the pan but don’t crowd them in. Allow to brown for about 3-5 minutes then flip carefully. Cook about 3-5 minutes and remove to a paper towel lined plate. Serve as soon as possible, with sour cream on the side and the apples.
4 med-large apples, peeled, cored and cubed
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Prepare apples by peeling, coring and cubing them. Heat a skillet on med-high heat and add the butter. When the butter no longer is foaming, add the apples, stir to coat. Cook for about 10 minutes then add in the lemon juice and spices. Stir and allow to cook a few more minutes.
I did the apples while the potatoes were cooling from the par-boil step.( If the apples cook down to applesauce consistency for you, let me know what you did to achieve that.) This made things go smoother in the timing of everything being done together. Some of the pancakes browned nicer than others but I think that had to do with my pan and heat distribution. I learned a new recipe and for that I am happy. We all really enjoyed this for our lunch today.