Potato pancakes are best served fresh out of hot oil with a crunchy exterior and rich, tender center. Similar to hashbrowns, potato pancakes combine potatoes with egg and flour as a binder. While versions of this food exist throughout the world, it is perhaps most commonly associated with Jewish Hanukkah celebrations, where it's known as a latke. Leftover potato pancakes can taste as good the next day if the crispy texture is preserved. Although a microwave is a fast and convenient reheating appliance, microwaving tends to make potato pancakes soggy. A few minutes of baking time results in crispy leftover potato pancakes.
Set a metal baking rack on a baking sheet to allow hot air to circulate under the potato pancakes so they cook crisp on all sides.
Place the potato pancakes on the metal rack with space between each pancake.
Preheat the oven to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the potato pancakes for 5 to 10 minutes or until heated through and the exterior becomes crisp again. Refrigerated potato pancakes might only take 5 minutes, while frozen potato pancakes can take up to 10 minutes to heat up and cook to a crisp. If you set the oven to 350 F, they'll take 10 to 15 minutes to cook. There's no need to flip the pancakes and risk breaking them because the heat reaches all sides evenly when you use a baking rack.
- It's much easier to move the potato pancakes to the baking rack if you separate the leftovers between layers of parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together.
- All food must be reheated to a minimum of 140 F to be outside the danger zone for food-borne illness. You can insert a cooking thermometer in the center of the potato pancakes to ensure they've reached a safe temperature.
A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.