I never made potato pancakes before so I got a little nervous when the potatoes didn't hold together. I just went with it and they were perfectly fine. I spoke to a few people and was told that this is totally normal. Thank goodness! I slightly adapted this recipe because I had pre-shredded potatoes I wanted to use and wasn't sure what the measurements were. I also bought a package of thinly sliced pancetta and it only had 6 slices in it. I wouldn't mind doubling that next time. It all worked out and I was very pleased. The only thing that I think that could be improved is my drying of the potatoes. The potatoes should be very dry and I was a little lazy about it. I ended up with a pool of eggy water at the bottom of the bowl which made the last batch a little messy. I served these two per person with a poached egg cradled in between. Of course, at that point I was rushing too much to take a picture. No worries though, I will be making these again without a doubt and will be sure to get a good picture of the plated dish.
1 1/2 bags Simply Potatoes, shredded hash brown potatoes
6 - 12 slices pancetta, thinly sliced
2 cups shredded cheesem, combo bag Monterrey Jack and Cheddar
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small package of scallions, finely chopped (approx 1/2 cup)
3 large eggs, beaten
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
canola oil for frying
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place pancetta slices on parchment and bake for about 15 minutes or until crispy. Remove from oven and blot off oil with paper towel. When cool enough to handle give them a rought chop.
2. In a large bowl mix together potatoes, pancetta, cheese, garlic, bell pepper, onions, eggs, salt, and pepper.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add oil. Form patties in your head and press together (they will not stay together completely). Place the mound of potatoes in hot skillet. Cook approximately 1-2 minutes per side or until browned. Do not overcrowd pan and work in batches until done.
3. Remove pancakes and place on paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil or moisture. Use paper towels in between layers as you stack them on the plate.
If you would like to make these patties a couple of hours ahead of time just leave them out on the counter and right before serving preheat the oven to 375 place on baking sheet and heat until warmed through.
Serving options - Sour Cream or cream fraiche topped with chopped chives, Serve with a poached egg on top or enjoy them as they are.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.