Potato Pancakes

Latkes. Boxty. Croquettes. Potato pancakes. These little treats should be super easy, right? Shredded potatoes, an egg, a bit of flour, little s&p, no problem? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Raw potatoes can take an eternity to cook, especially if you fry them. I’ve attempted to make potato pancakes on numerous occasions with varied success. I’ve tried them with shredded, uncooked potatoes. I’ve made them with soaked shredded potatoes. I’ve made with with leftover mashed potatoes. I’ve made them with cheese & cream. I’ve made them after a failed attempt at hashbrowns. I’ve made them with apples. I’ve served them with kielbasa and basil eggs. This is a stupidly easy dish that is stupidly difficult to get right.

This recipe is the one that I will go with from now on. It used a mixture of cooked and shredded potatoes and it’s the only one that really works all the time with a texture that isn’t too mushy like mashed potatoes and isn’t too much like a sort-of-circle of half-cooked hasbrowns.


Potato Pancakes
yields 6 – 3 inch diameter pancakes

2 potatoes, peeled, one chopped & one shredded
1 T. butter
1/4 c. minced onions
1 small clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper, to taste
2 T. sour cream (optional)
1 egg
1/3 c. flour
oil for frying
scallions & sour cream for optional garnish

To begin, heat a small saucepan of water to boiling. Place ONLY the chopped potato in the water, cooking for about 8 minutes or until fork tender. Once ready, place the shredded potato in the pot and cook for no more than 2 minutes. Remove from heat & strain the liquid.


While the potatoes are cooking, you may saute onions & garlic in butter in a saucepan over medium heat until slightly browned.

Next, combine saute mixture, potatoes, egg, flour, and sour cream in a mixing bowl.


Mash with a fork, masher, or pastry blender until smooth.


In a cast iron skillet or heavy frying pan, heat 1/4 inch oil over medium heat. Take a spoonful of the rather sticky potato dough and quickly flip in flour on both sides (the dough shouldn’t be really stiff).


Place in hot oil and fry and flatten with your hands if you are a daredevil (like me)  or if you are a sensible person who doesn’t like to get burned, a spatula is a handy tool. Fry on both sides until golden.


Remove from oil and place on a paper toweled plate to cool slightly. Garnish with sour cream, applesauce, or scallions.



Quinoa Almond ‘Cereal’

When I traveled to Denver, Colorado at the beginning of the summer, my friend Danielle prepared me this wonderful breakfast. It’s a breakfast that is light and delicious but filling and hearty for the start of a long day. I was surprised when I went to Denver how different the food culture was in comparison to Columbus. Many of the restaurants toted gluten-free and vegetarian options that are not-as-common in the Midwest.

Quinoa was a menu item that kept reappearing in my adventures in Denver in hearty dishes, pilaf-style sides, and as a substitute for toast. Obviously this is a versatile grain that seems to be a popular new trend. Yesterday, my friend in Vancouver said she made a quinoa salad with green & red peppers, cucumber, red & green onion, red cabbage, apples, cherries, cheese, & balsamic vinegar. I find that recipe to be a little overwhelming, but she was glowing with joy when she reported all her ingredients.

Anyways, this breakfast will make you feel like Jonathon Borofsky’s The Dancers under the beautiful blue of Denver’s summer sky (even in the winter time).


Quinoa Almond Cereal

1/4 c. prepared quinoa
1/2 c. vanilla almond milk
2 dashes cinnamon
1/4 c. toasted raw almonds

To begin, prepare quinoa according to instructions printed on packaging. I made the recommended 1/2 c. dry quinoa to 1 cup of water so I could save time during my busier mornings this week.ImageWhile the quinoa is boiling & steaming, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grab a handful of almonds and place on a baking sheet. Put them in the oven for 6-8 minutes or until slightly browned & fragrant.

ImageWhen the quinoa is prepared, add two dashes of cinnamon and an optional drizzle of honey.


Finally, pour a 1/2 c. of vanilla almond milk over the top & sprinkle on your toasted almonds! Yum! Enjoy your gluten-free alternative to traditional grain cereal!