November 21, 2010

Kartoffelpuffer (German Potato Pancakes)

Something wonderful happened last week....

My kitchen arrived! And these German potato pancakes, otherwise known as Kartoffelpuffer, were one of the many recipes I couldn't wait to make.

My first encounter with these crispy treats was in a cosy German restaurant that has since become a favourite of mine. They were served fresh out of the pan with a delicious apple sauce and were accompanied by a nice tall glass of Hefeweizen. The perfect combination, if you ask me!

Kartoffelpuffer are typically made of raw grated potato and onion, flour, eggs and seasoning. They are known and loved throughout Germany and are prepared in various ways from region to region. In the Rhineland they are sometimes eaten with buttered Schwarzbrot (Black Bread). In Bavaria they are typically served with sauerkraut. Other regional variations include Kartoffelpuffer with sugar and cinnamon or smoked salmon and creme fraiche. Though it seems that most Germans favour the more traditional variation: Kartoffelpuffer with apple sauce.

As you can tell, these pancakes are incredibly versatile. Last night I topped some leftover cakes with crispy bacon and fresh avocado. Delicious!

I'd imagine they'd also be good made with butternut squash, sweet potato, leeks, carrots or zucchini. The possibilities are endless.

Below is a typical yet tasty recipe for Kartoffelpuffer. Feel free to experiment with ingredients such as bacon, chives, garlic, chilli flakes or any of the ingredients mentioned above.

Guten Appetit!

Serves 4-6

1 kg starchy potatoes, peeled and rinsed
1 large onion
1/3 cup flour
2 eggs
1-1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Black pepper to taste
Vegetable or Canola oil for frying

Grate the potatoes using a food processor or box grater. Put the grated potato into a clean dish towel or some cheesecloth and squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible. Transfer the potato to a large mixing bowl.

Peel and grate the onion and add to the potatoes.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, eggs, salt, pepper and thyme. Add to the potato mixture and stir well to combine.

Heat a large frying pan with 3-4 tbls oil. Add a spoonful of the potato mixture to the hot oil and flatten down with a spatula. Cook 3-4 pancakes at a time, turning once until golden and crisp.

Serve with apple sauce if desired.