Sweet Potato and Potato Pancakes / FoodLovesWriting.com

Pretty travel pictures, much as I love them, rarely paint the full story of a trip away. Our Maine recap didn’t tell you about the horrible migraine I had our first night, for example, nor about the day we drove a full two hours away from Portland, looking for lunch, only to find three different restaurants closed (all I can say is thank goodness for this coffee shop and its quiche!). The afternoon we flew home from Boston to Chicago, it was after a fast morning stuck in crazy Cambridge traffic during which I had to pee so bad I actually sat there imagining myself getting out of the car, right on the busy highway, to take care of business in the median that was noticeably lacking in bushes or general greenery. (We did finally find a Dunkin Donuts, and even though I had to buy something in order to get the manager to buzz me into the bathroom, I was so happy to enter it, I almost cried.) Sunday night, when we came home, it was after a combined total of 2,000+ miles of driving (most of that driving done by Tim) in the last few weeks, the kitchen had no fresh food but the murcotts we’d kept in our bags with us, and we had a car full of the goods I’m ever transporting, one trip at a time from my parents’ place to mine, to unpack.

SWEET POTATO POTATO PANCAKES / foodloveswriting.com

So it probably makes sense when I tell you our fare this week, despite all the inspiring, innovative foods we’ve been exposed to lately, has been the simple kind. Tim whipped up some Thai noodle mixture Sunday night, I used our farmer’s turnip greens to do a new spin on this kale salad alongside grilled cheese on Monday, and, at around 7 p.m. last night after we’d sipped quick smoothies, I said to Tim, “What could you make with a sweet potato and a potato?” and we somehow ended up with this.

SWEET POTATO POTATO PANCAKES / foodloveswriting.com

My favorite kind of recipe is the one where you make it once, and the ingredients list is simple enough to stay in your head, enough so that reciting it back to someone else or going to make it again is almost brainless. I feel that way about the flaky pie crust recipe I inherited from my mom. I feel that way about these pancakes. Listen, guys: You take a pound of potatoes, grate them and strain them, and go mix them with an egg, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, some flour, and salt and pepper. Easy easy! Saute heaps of this mixture in oil, and you’re done! Whatever your late October is looking like these days, I hope simple, flavorful, home-cooked meals like this one become a part of it.

 

Sweet Potato & Potato Pancakes

By: Food Loves Writing

Serving Size: About 8 two- to four-inch pancakes

Ingredients:

  • About one pound of potatoes (for us, this was one sweet potato and one white potato)
  • Coconut oil, for frying
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 tablespoons sprouted spelt flour (or whatever all-purpose white or wheat flour you like, added in a tablespoon at a time until the mixture comes together)
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

Start by grating potatoes into a large bowl, using the largest size on your grater. You needn't peel them unless you're especially averse to potato skins, which, quick reminder, carry nutrients! Then, pile these potato shreds into a large tea towel, gather together all the ends to form a little packet around the shreds (like when you're making almond milk), and squeeze the daylights out of it over the sink. Once you've removed as much of the water as possible, scoop the remaining shreds back into the bowl.

Set a large skillet on the stove, add a few tablespoons of coconut oil, and set the heat to medium.

In the bowl holding the potatoes, add chopped onion, beaten egg, flour, parsley,salt, and pepper and stir everything together.

When the oil is good and hot in the pan, drop large spoonfuls of potato mixture into the skillet, hearing the sizzle, flattening them a little with the back of a spoon when you do. Let these rounds cook for a few minutes (you want them to get golden and crisp) before flipping to the other side and cooking it, too. Remove finished pancakes to a paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining batter.

Best served immediately. May be rewarmed in an oiled pan the next day in the oven, but reheating beyond one time will give you firmer, less crisp pancakes, which are harder to love.

http://foodloveswriting.com/2013/10/30/sweet-potato-potato-pancakes/

Cooksnaps
Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 30 Comments

  1. Lindsey | The Next Course

    Thanks for sharing some of the less glamorous aspects of your trip ;-). So often we see the polished perfection that people choose to post on blogs, and we forget that everyone has “messy” days, less-than-perfect meals, and, even on vacations, breakdown moments. I love that you allow yourself to be raw and real here, Shanna.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      You’re nice. Comments like this one definitely make it easier. The first night when I had the headache, it hit me that even wonderful things like vacations (and to places you’ve always wanted to visit!) aren’t perfect in this life. Sometimes we believe, when we look at what someone else is doing or being, that their situation would make things so swell… when in reality, everything is tinged with imperfection because everything we do includes us. : ) Thanks for your sweet words, Lindsey! Always appreciated.

  2. Jess

    Oh wow – you guys have been all over the place these past couple weeks! I’m with you thought, there’s nothing that feels quite as good as coming home to familiarity and comforting, simple meals. I’ve been splurging on sweet potatoes (they’re hard to come by here), and have fallen back in love witn them. These will be next on the list!

    1. Shanna Mallon

      I always love hearing about the difference in food availability over there, Jess — it reminds me how big the world is! and how even the simple things here are luxuries somewhere else. Would love to hear what you think about these if you try them!

  3. Elissa

    I was expected the typical pancake with baked, mashed sweet potato added in but was delighted to see a shredded version! They look so good and I bet would be good for breakfast or dinner :)

  4. felicia | Dish by Dish

    hey shanna, i was just thinking of how simple foods are the best kind to enjoy with the people we love most – with whom there is no need for fancy napkins nor complicated recipes to impress; just sitting together, munching on simple fare and enjoying each other’s company. I’m always encouraged by how you and Tim make the most of whatever you have on hand. btw, the need-to-pee-so-bad anecdote was funny (i don’t mean to laugh at your discomfort), but I know how it is! Sometimes I feel that way too and dont even mind stopping the car and settling it in the midst of fields where only cows exist!!

    sending plenty of love my dear friend!

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  6. Erin

    I know exactly what you mean. Whenever I get back from a trip, and for some reason especially when it’s been a trip full of inspiring food, I find that all I want to do is boil some pasta and make the simplest dishes possible. It takes me awhile to get my kitchen energy back, I suppose. ;)

  7. Alexis

    You pretty much made latkes! One of our good friends is Jewish and he invites us over whenever he’s making latkes. Usually they are made with just potatoes but he liked to do a potato and sweet potato mix. As strange and it sounds, they are DIVINE with some applesauce and sour cream on top. Yumm.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Alexis, I grew up in a home that celebrated Passover and sometimes Hanukkah, and right after this post went up I was reminiscing with my mom about a time she made 300+ latkes for one of those parties, keeping them in the oven warmer, divvying them out plate by plate. I told her it was amazing. She said it was crazy. Haha! : ) And I couldn’t agree more about the applesauce!

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  9. Skye

    Oooh – yum, yum, yum! These look so crispy and delicious. And I love that you’ve added some sweet potato – a little nod to healthy, vitamin filled veggies. Can’t wait to try and make these…
    By the way – I have only just discovered your site and it is beautiful – such great photos and such mouthwatering recipes… Looking forward to reading more…

  10. kate

    I love the sound of this — and I like it even more after reading that it came out of the necessity of the moment. I absolutely hate cooking as soon as I get back from a trip. It’s the worst combination of road fatigue, hunger, and a lack of inspiration in the kitchen. So glad you figured out a way around it to make something that looks darn-right delicious.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      People always say necessity is the mother of invention, and I guess it’s true. We tend to be much more creative (or, at least, creative in a more obvious way) when we’re spent than when we’re full and rested. Such a strange irony!

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