Crisp Potato Cakes

Our family makes this potato pancake recipe instead of the more expected individual latkes on Hanukkah. This recipe makes two large potato cakes that are then cut into small wedges for serving. Parboiling the potatoes before grating them results in a creamy interior. These are especially nice with applesauce or crème fraîche and caviar.–Rozanne Gold

LC You Say Potato Cake, I Say Latke...Note

Latke. Rosti. Potato pancake. Each quite distinct. And yet each somewhat the same–at least in terms of their ability to satiate beyond words. We find this recipe in particular to be quite ingenius, regardless of the season or your religious affiliation–because it’s a single whopping cake that’s cut into wedges, saving the time-consuming tediousness of standing at the stove making individual servings. It also calls for boiling the potatoes first to create a crisp exterior and airy interior that’s sort of something between latkes and home fries.

Any potato that maintains its integrity–that is, holds its shape–after boiling will do just dandy. Varieties that fall squarely (er, roundly or maybe even a little oblongly) into this category include new potatoes, white or red potatoes, and good old Yukon golds.

Crisp Potato Cakes Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds large boiling potatoes (see LC Note above) unpeeled
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely grated onion
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (149°C).
  • 2. Boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water until just tender, about 20 minutes, depending on the size. Rinse under cold water and peel. Let cool slightly.
  • 3. Grate the potatoes lengthwise on the large holes of a box grater over a bowl. Add the onion, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper and mix.
  • 4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large (10-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the potatoes and spread to form an even layer. Reduce the heat and cook until the bottom is golden, about 12 minutes. Invert a large plate over the skillet and carefully invert the potato cake onto the plate. Add another 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet and gently slide the cake back in. Cook until the underside is crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining potatoes and oil. Serve the potato cakes immediately, cut into wedges.
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Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Michelle Massey

Nov 30, 2010

This was fantastic! The recipe offers major bang for the buck with just three ingredients (five, actually, if you count salt and pepper). This cake was, as promised, crispy on the outside and creamy in the middle.
TIPS: Boiling the potatoes first is a stroke of genius; the potatoes are ready when you can pierce one with a paring knife and meet with little resistance in the centre. Do be careful, though, that the skins on the potatoes are kept intact when boiling—one of my potatoes was a little too waterlogged to grate properly. I also found that tossing the potatoes and onions together with my hands helped keep everything in distinct pieces—and you do want the potato shards to keep their shapes so that the various edges of the grated potato get crispy. I added the oil and potatoes to the hot pan, then waited the prescribed time before turning the cake over, but it wouldn’t budge. A few more minutes fixed that. I guess it’s just like searing meat, in that it will release from the pan when it’s ready.

Testers Choice
Tamiko Lagerwaard

Nov 30, 2010

This was a delightful version of a potato pancake. The exterior was crisp and browned, the interior light, moist, and fluffy. It just doesn’t get much better than that. I used a Yukon gold-like, yellow-fleshed potato. I did add a bit more salt and pepper to the finished product, but my husband thought it was perfectly seasoned as it was. I could easily make a meal out of one of these when paired with a nice crisp salad.


Comments
Comments
  1. Jamie says:

    This latke recipe is a departure from what I am used to, but I am going to try this tonight. I like the idea of one or two large latkes instead of flipping individual pancakes.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Glad you’re going to try it, Jamie. And I think you’ll be quite pleasantly surprised by the really ethereally light texture of the interior in contrast against the crisp exterior. It’s a simple but brilliant technique that the recipe relies upon. And so lovely any time of year.

    • Allison Parker says:

      We’re honored that you’re giving Leite’s Culinaria your trust this evening. And, assuming that you’re making these “unorthodox” latkes in celebration of the holiday… Happy Hanukkah to you. (If not, as Renee says, the latkes are lovely any time of year, for any occasion.) Thanks for commenting.

  2. Martha in KS says:

    I don’t celebrate Hanukkah, but I’m going to show my support of the Jewish faith by eating a skillet full of fried potatoes tonight. Mazel tov!

  3. Mo Hoyal says:

    Renee, thank you so very much for sending me the e-mail with link to Latke’s. I am so grateful and it was easy then to get to the right page. I plan to make these very soon and I thank you for this recipe. Mo Hoyal

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      My pleasure, Mo! I’m looking forward to hearing what you think…

  4. Mark Waitsman says:

    Good morning! I made the recipe and found it to be too bland. Having had the “traditionsl” latkes forever, I thought that I would try them. I served the cakes to the attendees of my Hanakkah party. Everyone agreed that they just weren’t to their taste! Tasted too much like mashed potato cakes was the most heard comment. This is not ment as a bad review. The end products was totally edible. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday season!!!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Mark, many thanks for sharing your experience, and we’re really sorry to hear that they’re not more to your liking. True, the taste is subtle, as these are more about texture with the crisp exterior and the mushy-in-a-good-way, mashed-potato-like interior. We do test each recipe several times before we decide whether or not to put it on the site, so I hope you’ll try another recipe (or three!) from us soon….

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