Spring Break Breakfast

My kids are off all week for spring break, and, well, David is still home, as you all probably know. To treat my family, I decided to knock out the banging breakfast. I will thus share with you my recipes for not only my fabulous potato latkes (my high-school boyfriend was Jewish, and I picked up a couple of awesome eats from him) and also, not to be missed, sourdough hotcakes.

For anyone not in the know, Latkes are a traditional Jewish dish of crispy fried potato, usually served at Hanukkah. Not a biblical food, since potatoes come from the new world, but still something rooted for hundreds of years in Jewish tradition. They may take a tiny bit of prep to make properly, but latkes beats the pants off any old hash-browns.

Sourdough hotcakes require you to have some sourdough-starter on hand. Unfortunately, I can’t help you with getting some of that liquid-slurpy-bubbly gold, but if you have some already, this recipe rocks your socks. If you don’t, I’m sorry. Try and get some. Look. Ask. It’s worth it. Mine is over 100 years old, from Alaska- home of not only Mo Mommy, but the hottest sourdough cultures on the planet.

Without further ado or braggadocio, I give you, my breakfast…


Potato Latkes

  • four starchy potatoes, peeled and grated coarsely
  • 1/2 yellow onion, grated on large holes of grater
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for pan-frying

The trick to crispy, non-gummy latkes is the proper prep of the potatoes. Once they are peeled and grated, thoroughly rinse them in a sieve under cold water until the water runs clear. The starches in the potatoes will turn the water cloudy at first, and you must rinse the starch if you want crispy results. Once the ‘tatoes are rinsed, drain and press out as much water as you possibly can. Spread them out on a micro-wave save dish and microwave them for 3-4 minutes. (You are par-cooking them, the same way the frozen french fries are par-cooked when you buy them in a bag. It works!)

Once potatoes are par-cooked, stir in remaining ingredients.

Heat oil to med-hot in cast-iron or heavy skillet, and drop blobs of latke into oil, pressing down and making cakes. Fry until golden and crispy on both sides.

Serve immediately with either sour cream or applesauce. Mmmmmmmmm!


Sourdough Hotcakes

  • 2 cups sourdough starter
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda

(always handle starter with non-metallic tools- wooden or glass are best)

Into the sourdough, add sugar, egg, oil and salt. Right before ready to bake on hot griddle, add the soda, folding gently. Starter will bubble up and become light and fluffy. Bake on hot griddle and serve with butter and honey (my fav) or maple syrup. Sourdough hotcakes will not be thick and dense like regular pancakes (my grandma called those kind of pancakes “horse-blankets” and would send them back in a restaurant!); instead they will be light and lacy and divine. Enjoy!

11 thoughts on “Spring Break Breakfast

  1. Oh absolutely perfect! I love latkes and have never ever thought of making them myself. You have shared the technique perfectly so I am now going to give it a try! Thank you Tracy!

    Now off to go find some starter for the hotcakes.

  2. Julie- I’ve had that happen with other starts I’ve had. They all seem to have different personalities- this one, from Alaska, is really hearty. If I’m going to use it again in a few days, I just leave it on the counter in it’s glass jar, with several layers of cheesecloth tightly over the top. If it’s going to be more than a week between uses, I cap it and put it in the fridge. This causes it to basically go dormant.

  3. NO applesauce! Sour cream is a must, though. I was raised in a Lithuanian Orthodox Catholic/Belorus Jewish home, and for the longest time as a kid I didn’t know if Latkes were Lithuanian or Jewish. My mom always put bacon grease in them. mmmmmmm….

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