Two Kinds of Potato Pancake

{These recipes originally appeared as a part of a list of 10 favorite colder-weather recipes in the ‘Ten Things’ issue of Catapult Magazine. Since I’m still away–and since it’s getting colder here in the Northeast!–I thought I’d re-post these two recipes for two very different sorts of potato pancakes. Yum!}

Sweet Potato (& Corn) Fritters

This is one of my family’s new favorites, a new twist on our old favorite, potato pancakes (see below). Well, okay, my five year old isn’t crazy about them (yet.) But the rest of us are. Fresh cilantro is expensive (and likely imported) in the supermarket this time of year; it’s fairly easy to grow your own indoors. But don’t leave it—or the green onions—out. The orange, yellow, and green in these make them so pretty. If you’re inclined to be snobbish about frozen veggies, consider that few vitamins are lost during freezing, and that commercially frozen foods are frozen at the peak of freshness—you (and the planet) are way better off buying frozen veggies in winter than buying fresh ones that have been shipped long distances. Plus, recently, I’ve seen organic frozen corn everywhere from Costco to Trader Joe’s. If you planned ahead and froze corn yourself in the summer, so much the better.

Grate 3 large sweet potatoes (I don’t bother to peel them if they’re organic, just scrub and grate). Mix with 1 cup frozen corn kernels, rinsed, 4 chopped green onions, 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro, 3 lightly beaten eggs, and 1/3 cup whole wheat flour. (for non-gluten eaters substitute 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons potato flour.) Stir in about ½ tsp. salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Drop by ¼ cupfuls into a pan well oiled with 1 part oil (preferably corn or grapeseed) and 1 part butter—enough to keep them sizzling but not floating. Cook about 3 minutes on each side, and keep warm on a cookie sheet in a 275 degree oven while you cook the rest. Serve with a simple sauce of juice from 3 limes, ½ tsp. minced garlic, 1 tsp. chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional), 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 2 tsp. sesame oil. Add chile flakes if you like things spicy, and please look for soy sauce that is just soy, wheat, salt, and water. (Or, again, if you’re gluten-free, look for gluten-free tamari sauce.)

Potato Pancakes

The Hanukah favorite, perfect throughout the winter! My kids and husband like them with ketchup—they’re kind of like a hash brown, then, but I (and my parents) love them with the more Eastern European toppings of sour cream and applesauce. Either way, they’re cheap, filling, and really tasty.

Grate (again, if they’re organic, just leave the skins on) 3 large potatoes and squeeze in a clean cloth to release some of their liquid. Mix with ¼ cup flour, 2 eggs, and 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped.  If it looks soupy, add a bit more flour. Add about 1 tsp. salt and some fresh black pepper. Drop by ¼ cupfuls onto a hot pan oiled with 1 part oil (preferably corn or grapeseed) and 1 part butter—enough to keep them sizzling but not floating. Drain on paper towels, if necessary, and keep warm in a 275 oven. Serve immediately.

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