I love potatoes; they were and continue to be my favourite root vegetable. Once as a child, when asked to draw my favourite food, I drew potatoes – or so I thought. The teacher was confused by the brown lumps on my paper, but when I explained that I couldn’t choose between mashed potatoes or french fries, she burst out laughing.
I haven’t eaten many potato cakes before, but I imagine this is what a pretty darn good potato cake tastes like. The recipe, for Keller, is baby-steps simple: grated potatoes, green onions, a touch of cornstarch to bind, and salt and pepper. The recipe in the book calls for you to make 8 to 9 inch cakes, but I opted for 5 to 6 inch cakes so I would be able to flip them easily.
Because there’s isn’t much of a binder to hold the potatoes together, the key to this recipe is patience. Make sure your cakes have a nice golden brown bottom crust before you attempt to flip.
Mike and I enjoyed these hot, out of the pan without anything, but I think they’d taste amazing with sour cream. I’m sure Keller didn’t intend this, but I might just have to make this my go-to recipe for hash browns!
Peel and grate potatoes by hand or if you have a food processor, with the coarse shredding blade. Transfer the shredded potatoes to a large bowl of cold water and swirl and rinse the potatoes. Lift them from the water and dry in a salad spinner and transfer to a large dry bowl. Sprinkle the cornstarch around the sides of the bowl and toss the potatoes to coat.
Heat some canola oil in a non-sticke frying pan (I used cast-iron) over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering. Turn down the heat to medium. Add enough potatoes to spread into a 5 to 6 inch circle. Do not press down on the potatoes; you want to keep the cake light and airy. Sprinkle a generous amount of green onions on the cake, season with salt and pepper and top with more potatoes. Cook for 6-7 minutes to brown the bottom. If needed, add a bit of canola oil to the pan; you want to hear the potatoes sizzling. Carefully turn the pancake to brown the second side and cook until it is browned and crisp. Enjoy hot!