My father made the best potato pancakes for my brother and I when we were kids. I can still picture him standing next to the sink in our then avocado green kitchen, peeling potatoes one by one and then shredding them with a box grater into a colander in the sink. He didn’t cook often but when he did, I’m quite certain it was appreciated by my mother who normally handled the meal preparation for our family. We loved those potato pancakes. Preferably slathered in well-chilled, full-fat sour cream. They were a welcome treat for us well into our teenage years and beyond and my father was pleased to have something he could prepare that we enjoyed so much.
I was really looking forward to introducing those pancakes to Emma. Introduce her to a bit of my heritage. But, as luck would have it, Emma doesn’t even like potatoes.
One evening when we needed dinner quickly, a survey of our refrigerator turned up a lonely zucchini, a couple of onions, a bag of carrots and a carton of eggs. (And chocolate cake, but chocolate cake does not a dinner make!) Still inspired by my father’s potato pancakes, the veggies and eggs came together, and after a few iterations, have become Emma’s version of those beloved pancakes.
They are very quick to prepare and much healthier than the original potato pancakes. Zucchini, carrots, peas, corn, spelt flour, fresh chives – yes, even fresh chives (aka those green things) which Emma enjoys now since she has grown them in our garden herself. I chose to use spelt flour since it is higher in protein and has fewer calories than wheat flour. My father occasionally used to cook his pancakes in bacon fat (I know!) and since it tasted so good, I’ve added a little bacon into this mix. And although I tend to use frozen peas and corn, using fresh if you have it would make these even more delicious. Try them tonight – they come together in less than 30 minutes!
Tips and suggestions:
- These are easily prepped ahead of time and can be reheated. Put them on to a baking sheet in a single layer and into an oven preheated to 375F for 5-10 minutes. They will regain some of their crisp too.
- If you don’t have spelt flour, these can be made with whole wheat flour too. Substitute in the whole wheat flour for the spelt flour and add about 1/4 cup of cold water when mixing the batter together.
- Leave the bacon out and make them even healthier and vegetarian.