A recent house guest at the farm came prepared to cook breakfast. I never argue with such a grand offer as that. My friend had grown up in Germany and wanted to treat us to one of his favorite dishes. The name of the dish is a bit of a tongue twister: Kartoffelpuffer. I stumbled around with that one for awhile. It’s kar-tof-fel-puf-fer. The classic Bavarian pancake is easily made with just grated potatoes, onions, flour, egg, and seasonings formed into a patty. If you can’t get your tongue around this one, just call it a Germany Pancake.
Kartoffelpuffers: Easier to Make Than to Say
My German “chef” smashed the Kartoffelpuffers in the skillet and sauteed them until they were golden and crispy. If the patty is left thick, the insides will be softer. It’s a matter of personal preference.
I remember my father (of German descent) making potato pancakes, but he always used left-over mashed potatoes. My friend used fresh grated potatoes. Just remember when cooking to use a reasonable amount of oil to prevent the cakes from getting burnt patches in some places and being uncooked in others.
As we lined up with our plates in hand, my guest cook topped each golden Kartoffelpuffer with slices of salmon and sour cream sprinkled with dill. Wow! This is a breakfast I could get used to having more often.
The dish is sometimes served with applesauce. I like it with this recipe for Sauteed Apples. While the home cooked variety of these pancakes is preferred, frozen packages are available in the freezer case at Global Foods for a quick breakfast treat.
But like orange juice, or beer, Germany pancakes are “not just for breakfast anymore.” If you include bratwurst, you’ll have a mighty fine lunch or dinner.
- 3 large russet potatoes (about 2 1⁄2 lb.)
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1⁄3 cup flour
- 3 eggs
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Ground pepper, to taste
- Canola oil, for frying
- Applesauce, for serving