I have always made potato pancakes with grated potatoes for crisp pancakes, but I've also thought about making them with mashed potatoes for creamy ones. When I read that Andrew Zimmern's grandmother made potato pancakes with both of them together, I had an aha! moment. Even better!
Make-ahead tip: Prepare the mixture and refrigerate for several hours. Fry just before serving or up to 30 minutes ahead. Place on a sheet pan, and reheat at 400 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes.
- 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled and 1-inch-diced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds Idaho baking potatoes, peeled
- 1 large yellow onion
- 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread flakes) or matzo meal
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving
- Unsalted butter
- Good olive oil
- Sour cream, for serving
Place the Yukon Gold potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until very tender when tested with a knife. Drain and pass through a ricer or the coarsest blade of a food mill into a large bowl and set aside.
Grate the Idaho potatoes lengthwise in long shreds, either by hand or in a food processor fitted with the coarsest grating disk. Place the potatoes on a kitchen towel, squeeze out most of the liquid, and transfer to the bowl with the cooked potatoes. (Don't worry — they'll turn pink.) Grate the onion either by hand or in the food processor and stir into the potatoes along with the eggs, panko, chives, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large (12-inch) sauté pan over medium-high heat, until sizzling. Drop heaping tablespoons of the potato mixture into the skillet (you want them to be messy). Flatten the pancakes lightly with a metal spatula and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until browned. Continue adding butter and oil, as needed, to fry the remaining batter. Serve hot with sour cream and chives.