You can’t really call these traditional since they make use of a food processor, which to some die-hard potato pancake aficionados is not only not de rigeur but positively heretical. And back in the day, potatoes were potatoes: russets or Idaho’s. Yukon Gold’s weren’t even a glimmer in someone’s eye. So if you like, we’ll call them almost traditional. Or heaven.
2 pounds of Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
1 onion, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons matzo meal
Pinch cinnamon (optional)
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
Grate the potatoes on a box grater into a bowl. Remove half of the potato shreds and put them in the bowl of a food processor with the steel blade. Add the quartered onion. Pulse until the pieces are about 1/8 of an inch in size. (Be careful not to over pulse or you’ll end up with mush.) Return the onion/potato shards and the other half of the potatoes to a mesh sieve over a bowl. Squeeze as much liquid as you possibly can from the potato/onion mixture with your hands and/or a dishtowel into the bowl. Let the liquid sit for a few minutes till the potato starch settles on the bottom of the bowl. Pour off the watery top.
Add potato starch to potato/onion mixture. Add egg, matzo meal, salt and pepper and optional cinnamon and mix.
Heat a griddle or non-stick pan. Coat lightly with vegetable oil. When the oil is very hot, add a few tablespoons of batter, flattening the pancake with a spatula. Fry for a few minutes till golden brown then flip over and brown the other side. Remove and drain on brown paper bags. Serve immediately.
Makes about 2 dozen pancakes
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated Magazine