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Almost Traditional Potato Pancakes

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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
1 egg
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

-kr 

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