Polka and Pancakes

When I was a younger teen, I was lucky to travel over to Europe with my family. We flew into Germany and drove down into Bavaria and later into Austria, Switzerland and France. While in Germany, we ended up for an evening in Munich. We walked around through the older downtown area looking at all of the interesting architecture and ended up going to the Hofbrau House for dinner.

We walked in to the music of a live polka band and sat at a picnic style table. The food they brough was glorious and although I was too young to order one of their enormous steins of beer, I fully appreciated the strength it must have taken for the waitresses to carry five in each hand. Being a tuba player, I was right at home with the tunes.

Many years later, I ended up having regular work trips to Cincinnati, Ohio. Just across the Ohio river is Newport Kentucky, which, being a sister city of Munich, was the site of the first Hoffbrau house inside the United States (2003). I became a frequent diner there on my trips, fully enjoying the right and ability to order my own liter of beer.

My dinner order became very predictable whenever I was there. Weiner Schnitzel sandwich on a pretzel bun, spaetzle and potato pancakes for sides. Hey! Don’t judge me. I know….I know…..all bad for me stuff, but it tasted so good.Photo Dec 02, 11 23 38 AM

Potato pancakes can really be good or just plain awful. Luckily at the Hofbrau House, they were good. In several attempts over the years, I’ve tried  a few recipes and found this one to be pretty good. I changed the recipe a bit from the original source.

Photo Dec 02, 9 03 19 AM

The ingredients are very limited.

Photo Dec 02, 10 55 56 AM

I used a food processor to shred the potatoes, I am very thankful for the shredding blade as it saves my fingertips and knuckles.

Photo Dec 02, 11 05 33 AM

A good potato pancake is really the balance between potato, egg and flour. Too much flour and it becomes thick and gummy. Too little, and it tends to fall apart. After shredding and mixing everything up, I knew I wanted to have eight pancakes. I scooped mounds onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet in anticipation of the fryer. I then slid a spatula under a mound, flattened it out with my hand, and slid it into the oil, pressing down with the spatula to flatten it out some more.

I made these fairly large (about 3-4 inches in diameter), so they took about 4-5 minutes per side to cook.  It is a tricky thing to flip the potato pancake without hot oil splashing everywhere. I found that I did best by flipping one pancake onto another and then sliding it off into the oil. No splatters!

I would normally serve these with some applesauce and sour cream, but I had other plans for these puppies. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out.

Potato Pancakes

Makes: 8 large pancakes


  • 4 large baking potatoes, peeled
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying


Finely grate potatoes with onion into a large bowl. Drain off any excess liquid.

Mix in egg, salt, and black pepper. Add enough flour to make mixture thick, about 2 to 4 tablespoons all together.

Turn oven to low, about 200 degrees F (95 degrees C).

Heat 1/4 inch oil in the bottom of a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Drop two or three 1/4 cup mounds into hot oil, and flatten to make 1/2 inch thick pancakes. Fry, turning once, until golden brown. Transfer to paper towel lined plates to drain, and keep warm in low oven until serving time. Repeat until all potato mixture is used.

Nutritional Info:

Calories 283 kcal 14% Carbohydrates 46.7 g 15% Cholesterol 35 mg 12% Fat 8.4 g 13% Fiber 5.8 g 23% Protein 6.5 g 13% Sodium 415 mg 17%

Source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/potato-pancakes-i/

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: appetizer, Fried, German, kosher, Lunch2, Recipes, Side Dish, snack, Vegetable2, Vegetarian

Author:The Ranting Chef

Check out the best recipes at rantingchef.com

18 Comments on “Polka and Pancakes”

  1. January 29, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    …These sound delicious! I think my obsession with pancakes just soared to a whole new level!


  2. January 29, 2013 at 11:40 am #



  3. January 29, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    I will never forget having potato pancakes with applesauce & sour cream when I was in Las Vegas—-heavenly! Have never tried to make them, but your directions look do-able. I must try it out. Thanks.


  4. January 29, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    Ohhhhhh! I LOVE all the food you just described. I’ve even made potato pancakes quite a few times this winter for my own family. We love them.. although I make mine out of leftover mashed potatoes! lol I’ll have to give your recipe a whirl! Thanks for sharing!


  5. blowingoffsteamandmore
    January 29, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    My favorite! I have never made them successfully myself though so I am excited to try it! I wonder if you could fry them in a tiny bit of oil then bake?


  6. Chef Heidi
    January 29, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    Will definitely take this one for a spin for Pancake Tuesday on Feb. 12th (or Fat Tuesday / Mardi Gras as some like to say). Best day ever…pancakes for breakfast, savoury crepes for lunch and potato pancakes for dinner! You’ve gotta try it!


  7. January 29, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    I love visiting that part of Europe! I married a Swiss/Austrian so I am very familiar with spaetzle and rosti (potato pancake)! Both were served at our wedding. My mother-in-law grates gruyere cheese on her rosti. Your potato pancakes look very tasty!


  8. January 29, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    I think I can eat potatoes 24/7!


  9. January 29, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    In germany these were always served with stewed apples/ apple sauce….hmmm. My favorites are the bratkartoffeln (fried potatoes in the cast iron skillets) and the apfel kuechle (apple pancakes) – luckily I am married to a German so we get to visit often 🙂


  10. Janet Rörschåch
    January 29, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    Good recipe. The other bit about good potato pancakes is having the oil hot enough, but not smoking. Well done working on this. Gil you figured out what you like. Experimentation is one of the great things about cooking.


  11. January 30, 2013 at 3:36 am #

    I love potato pancakes but I’ve never made them myself (they are one of the few foods that everyone I know seems to have their own special recipe for). I’ll definitely have to make these soon, they look delicious. Love the story and memories that go with the recipe 🙂


  12. January 30, 2013 at 5:55 am #

    They look great, I have to confess I make lazy rosti, I just oven bake mounds of grated onion and potato in a hot oven on an oiled roasting tin..
    I may well have to try your method.. x


  13. January 30, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    Thanks for your visit. We also like to make our potato pancakes uniform, we use the circle egg forms, which hold about a fourth of a cup of our mix. We only have two, of the forms, once the potatoes set a tad we can take them off and set them in the oil for the next two. Our semi-square fryer holds four of the potato pancakes and if we are making large batches we keep the cooked pancakes in a warm oven. If you are making them and can’t use flour matzo meal works too.


  14. January 30, 2013 at 11:31 am #

    I find it amazing how many cultures include the potato pancake…The potato latka is so similar and they add cream cheese and smoked salmon. The German version is what my hubby is used to after being stationed there for years. Thank you so much for the recipe.


  15. January 30, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    MMMM! A job well done, I say! I don’t make them often at home. That’s going to change from now on!


  16. February 13, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    A nice post with a good story behind it. They look very tasty!


  17. February 15, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    I would have one of these with smoked salmon right now.



  1. As the Culinary Gods Intended | Rantings of an Amateur Chef - October 17, 2013

    […] is the second potato pancake recipe I’ve posted here. The first recipe I used to make a great sandwich – The Potato Pancake Reuben! These were just as the […]


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