Polish Potato Pancakes

Polish Potato Pancakes are one of my favorite “comfort foods” but they’re definitely one of those foods I only have once in a blue moon.  My grandmother made these often when I was a kid and as the tradition goes, my mother made these throughout my childhood into adulthood once in a while.
They’re actually quite easy to make, meaning the ingredients needed are very few, but the grating of the potatoes takes effort. Typically two potatoes in, my arm is sore and I’m wondering what I got myself into (haha).  There are many different graters on the market but the one I use is my grandmother’s old school potato grater (which I admit are hard to find, but can be found if you search for them), which essentially pulverizes the potatoes into little starchy potato “clouds”. While it pulverizes the potato I have to be VERY careful to not let it nick my hand because it’s not a pretty sight if it does.
These can be enjoyed any which way you like. Plain, with sour cream, or my absolute favorite way: with ketchup!
While I did calculate the points plus values for these, I was able to do so by measuring the oil I used in the beginning and measuring the oil I had leftover at the end. I assumed the oil that wasn’t present was absorbed into the end product.
Serves 10. 6 Points Plus per serving. (Serving size varies based on the amount made – I was able to make 20 pancakes making a serving 2 pancakes).
  • 2 pounds peeled potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • Salt, to taste
Place a grater over a large bowl and grate potatoes. Feel free to grate to your desired consistency. I prefer the old style grater which pulverizes the potato into a pillowy substance.
Place a skillet with ½ cup vegetable oil over medium heat.
Strain some liquid from your potato mixture. When the potatoes are grated they let off water, using a gentle hand allow the water to strain from it but do not push the liquid out of the potatoes because you want it to retain some moisture.
Combine egg, baking powder and ½ cup of flour into mixture. Combine, then add in the remaining ½ cup. You want the mixture to be loose but thick.
Using a heaping tablespoon, spoon the mixture into the hot oil and allow cooking until lightly golden on one side, flipping and cooking on the other.  Flip the pancakes over to cook for an additional 1-2 minutes per cooked side.  I find the pancakes need to be cooked additionally on each side before removing from the pan otherwise the inner pancake is raw and gummy.
When cooked, remove from the oil and set on a paper towel lined tray. Sprinkle with salt.
Continue cooking until all batter is used.

Eating out … and getting exactly what you WANT!

I went out to eat at a local restaurant which is known for their seafood. I’m not a big seafood fan BUT I do enjoy fried seafood (primarily fish and clams) every once in a while. I knew the restaurant sold a staple grilled chicken dinner (which I have had in the past) but … I really wanted fried haddock.
Decisions, decisions. I had enough points in the day to have the fish and not feel guilty about it. Plus, since it’s what I really wanted, I knew if I didn’t have it, I wasn’t going to be satisfied with the chicken dish – so I decided to just order the fish. Although, I knew if I ordered the haddock basket I would eat every single French fry and the container of cole slaw … because I know me, I just would.
I noticed under the salads section on the menu there was an option to add ether chicken, steak, shrimp or baked fish to the salad for an additional cost.  I asked if I could substitute the baked fish for fried haddock and was told “of course, no problem!” So that’s exactly what I did.  I ordered a large garden salad – without croutons, with raspberry vinaigrette on the side (the waitress advised that this was the lowest calorie option they had available, so I went with it – using the “dip” method – dipping the end of my fork into the dressing before eating the salad).  And I ordered my fried haddock along with it.
My meal came out; I had my fish (and my tartars sauce!) and was completely satisfied and happy.  I took half my fish and salad home and ate it later on in the evening.
I estimated the haddock filet to be 13 points plus values, the tartar sauce to be 4 points plus values and the teeny tiny amount of dressing I may have used to be 2 points plus values.
Was it worth it? Every point, bite, lick and taste!  Why? Because I wanted it, I tracked it and it satisfied me.  And guess what?  I stepped on the scale the next day and was down 3 pounds!
Are you comfortable going out to eat and having what you want but in a way you’re comfortable having it?