Monday, April 15, 2013
Meatless Monday: Sweet Potato Pancakes
Sweet potato pancakes are a nice change from regular potato pancakes. Sweet potatoes are packed with nutrition and their natural sweetness is so delicious especially as a foil to somewhat bitter sauteed greens. You can serve these as a side dish but since this is Meatless Monday, we suggest you serve them as a part of a vegetarian meal. You can serve them with sauteed greens and a sprinkling of cheese (feta in photo above). Or serve with a fried egg (kind of like sweet potato hash browns). Or serve them by themselves with a dollop of yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup - breakfast for dinner, one of our favorite meals.
Sweet potatoes aren't starchy like white potatoes so these pancakes are more delicate. A well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick griddle/skillet is really helpful because these guys don't hold together nearly as well as potato pancakes. You don't need a lot of oil either. The sugars in the sweet potato helps the cakes brown but they don't get crispy like white potatoes. Still taste great!
Sweet Potato Pancakes
(serves 4 as an entree, 6-8 as a side dish, costs $2.30)
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled
4 Tablespoons flour or bread crumbs
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
a pinch of ground cinnamon, optional
2-3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Coarsely grate the sweet potatoes and add to the potatoes. Finely grate the onion into the potatoes so that you get all the onion juice as well as the onion mush. Mix in the flour, salt, pepper, and cinnamon, if using.
Heat up a large skillet or griddle on medium-high heat. Brush on some of the oil to grease the pan. Add about a golf ball sized blob of sweet potatoes and squish them down and spread them out so they are about ⅛" thick. They cook faster and are easier to turn if they aren't too thick. If you use a 12" griddle, you can fit 3-4 pancakes, but they are easier to turn if you don't crowd them. Go slow, take your time until you get the hang of flipping them. When the bottom is browned, carefully turn it over with a pancake spatula. Brown on the other side. Keep finished pancakes warm in a very low oven (170-200°F) while you cook the remaining potatoes. Brush more oil between each batch of pancakes and if you find the potatoes are burning rather than browning, lower the heat to medium.
Adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman.