Growing up, I never once experienced potato pancakes. In fact, I didn’t even know they existed until I was in my late twenties. I was finally introduced to them after I married my husband and had dinner one night at my in-laws’ home. My father-in-law spent some time in Germany when he was a young adult and one of the things he brought home with him was a traditional German recipe for potato pancakes. I’m calling it a recipe, but it’s not something you can exactly write down. It’s more of a feel for what tastes right and what doesn’t. Potatoes come in varying sizes, so it’s hard to say, “use 5 potatoes” and onions come in varying degrees of potency so it’s hard to come up with a perfect amount of those either. Then you have mix in just the perfect amount of flour and spices to match the potatoes and onions you’ve added. In fact, getting these pancakes just right is so much of an art, that only my father-in-law and sister-in-law are able to do it. Try as we might, the rest of us just don’t have what it takes, I guess.
Now, these potato pancakes are not just good. They are really good. So good, that it’s almost impossible to stop eating them. However, we can only have them when either my father-in-law or sister-in-law feel up to making them, as they are the only ones who can get the recipe right. And unfortunately, that isn’t the only problem. The other issue is time. Traditional potato pancakes take a lot of it. Most of that time is spent grating potatoes into really fine pieces, thoroughly rinsing those pieces, and then pressing them in the colander to get every bit of juice out of them that you can. Only then can you mix the potatoes with the remaining ingredients and start cooking them. Luckily, I’m here to tell you about a much easier way to get the same amazing taste with a lot less effort and time.
All you need to do is grab a really great mix. Okay, I can imagine what you’re thinking. A mix? Really? I know mixes don’t always have the best reputation in the cooking world, but potato pancakes are a different story. Potatoes actually dehydrate really well and it’s easy to preserve their great taste, even when they are reduced to a powder or flake form. This is why a potato pancake mix is actually a brilliant way to cut out most of the work without losing out on any of the potato-ey goodness. With a mix like “Potatodonut” (which you can grab at potadonuts.com), all you need to do is add a couple of wet ingredients and start cooking your pancakes on a griddle or frying pan. In twenty minutes or less, you’ll have perfect potato pancakes.
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