Yes, "Fire! Feu!" is what our fancy smoke detectors in Canada say. Everything needs to be bilingual, even if it's irritating. And it was a "Fire! Feu" morning here on Coleridge Avenue. It was my annual potato pancake breakfast event and that always involves the smoke alarm, at least the way I make potato pancakes.
This pancake is the traditional Irish pancake made presumably in Ireland. It's not the potato latke thingy or hash browns that so many people think I'm making when I talk about potato pancakes. No, this is a recipe from my childhood. Perhaps the reason I don't remember the "Fire! Feu" noise as a child is because my safety-conscious parents didn't have smoke detectors. Or because my mother had the right pan or technique, that's also a possibility.
Anyway, here's how I make them - I start by boiling 3 or 4 potatoes until they're soft. Drain the water, mash the potatoes, then add about a cup of flour.
The dough is pretty hot at this time, so wait for a few minutes. Take a large spoon and scoop out some dough, form it into a ball. Sprinkle flour on the surface you'll use to roll out the pancake, and take a little flour and coat the outside of the dough ball. Roll it out using a rolling pin and then lift into the skillet.
In a skillet, already heated at medium-high, it should take about 5 minutes per side. You'll know the pancake is done on each side when the pancake starts to rise a little.
After a few pancakes, at least at my house, the smoke alarm goes off. So I always keep an extra pan handy so I can keep going.
Good thing I have my nice new frying pans from mom, they are so easy to clean up even after two of them were subjected to my cooking. Thanks mom!
And look, the finished product on the pretty Fiesta chartreuse plate, with the tell-tale signs of potato pancakes - those little spots that must be bits of potato. Serve with a little butter like below. My brother Steven and I also like to add peanut butter. Yummy yummy.