Dead simple and delicious. That’s what these potato and leek pancakes are. Or are they Latkes? I’m not sure. You can make them as simple as you like, or you can spruce them up with the addition of herbs and other healthy things like sweet and mild leeks, fresh spinach and thyme. I also added just a bit of Roquefort, ’cause I love it and on those rare occasions when I do eat cheese, why not go all the way and enjoy something full of flavor. Completely optional. And of course, pretend it doesn’t exist if you are like my favorite Schwabe and despise any type of cheese that falls under the category of “blue”.
What to serve with Potato and Leek Pancakes?
The fantastic thing about this dish, whether you call them latkes or potato pancakes, is that they can be enjoyed any time of year and for breakfast, lunch or dinner. For breakfast you could serve them up with a fried egg or a slice of smoked salmon, for lunch a mixed salad, and dinner perhaps roasted chicken and vegetables. Or for a vegetarian meal, how about with a hearty lentil soup or roasted beets? Or one of my favorites, a wintery green salad with tangerines, red onion and slivered almonds. This time we devoured them all, just as they were, just the two of us.
Potato and Leek Pancakes (Kartoffelpuffer)
- 2 1/2 cups peeled and grated potatoes, use starchy potatoes (600 g peeled)
- 1 large leeks, white and light green parts only, trimmed, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise, cleaned to remove any dirt
- generous handful spinach, stemmed, washed, dried and finely chopped or cut in thin slivers
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons flour or cornstarch
- 60-70 g Roquefort or other firm blue cheese, crumbled
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- oil for the skillet
Once the potatoes are peeled, transfer them to a colander and squeeze out any excess moisture. Let stand for 2 minutes, then squeeze again.
In a large bowl, mix together the potatoes, leeks, spinach, baking powder, salt, pepper, thyme, and flour and cheese. Add the eggs and stir together until combined.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium to medium-high heat, with enough olive oil to lightly coat the base. Once hot, gather a heaping tablespoon of the mixture and cook in batches (press down with the back of the spatula to flatten).
Cook on one side until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Slide the spatula underneath and flip. Cook the other side until golden brown, another 3 or more minutes.
Repeat with the remaining mixture, keeping the cooked potato and leek pancakes warm in the oven.
Serve hot, just as they are, or feel free to top with crème fraiche, applesauce or other toppings of choice.
Store leftover pancakes in the fridge and just re-heat/cook some up when you want. To reheat them, place in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 400°F / 200°C in a preheated oven until crisp.
- For this potato and leek pancakes recipe, I use my box grater to grate the potatoes and then squeeze out the excess moisture before proceeding. If you forget to squeeze the potatoes out, don’t fret, all is not lost. If there is too much moisture, just sprinkle the mixture with a little extra flour and stir in one more lightly beaten egg.
- You need to fry the potato and leek pancakes quite soon after grating, otherwise the grated potatoes start to turn an unappetizing color.
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