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Potato Pancakes (Kartoffel Puffer)

Although German food is a tradition handed down by 19th-century German settlers in the Texas Hill Country, potato pancakes are popular everywhere. We like serving ours with fresh applesauce and a glass of Texas-made Shiner beer. Prost!
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
Grate potatoes by hand or use a food processor, but remember that more coarsely grated potatoes will absorb less oil than those that are finely grated. Remove as much moisture from the grated potatoes as possible by pressing between layers of paper towels.

Put the grated potatoes in a bowl and add the chopped onion, egg, salt and pepper, and sprinkle in the flour. Mix well.

Over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon each of the butter and oil in a large skillet. Pack a 1/4 cup measuring cup with potato mixture and put into the pan (you can comfortably fry four pancakes at a time). Press each little mound into a 3- to 4-inch pancake with a pancake turner. Brown on both sides. Remove, place on paper towels and keep warm.

Add the remaining butter and oil to the pan and repeat the procedure for the remaining pancakes. If you need to add a little more butter and oil, do so. The pancakes won't turn that lovely golden brown in a dry skillet. (It's also a good idea to stir up the raw potato batter between batches so the ingredients don't separate.) Serve at once.

Makes 8 or 10 pancakes.

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