Potato Pancakes with Smoked Salmon, Sour Cream and Chives

Potato pancakes for breakfast? 

Yes indeed. It’s one of our New Year’s Day favorites. My cousins come to stay with us for a few days and we usually eat a couple of days of smoked fish (salmon, sturgeon, whitefish and herring) with bagels. But New Year’s Day should be a little more special so a couple of times I’ve made very large potato pancakes (like 6-inches) and served them with smoked salmon on top, capped with a blob of sour cream garnished with chopped fresh chives and sometimes with red salmon caviar.

Quite luxurious to eat. Beautiful and festive looking too. And it’s easy. You can make the pancakes ahead and reheat them to hot and crispy in a 425 degree oven, then serve them with the cold smoked salmon and sour cream on top.

I’ve given a potato pancake recipe before, but I change it slightly for New Year’s breakfast. When I couple it with something cold, like smoked fish, I prefer a shreddy texture — it makes crispier pancakes (so I don’t grate or chop the potatoes. I use the shredding blade on a food processor). I also don’t use baking powder because I like the pancake flatter and unpuffed — a better texture with the moist, cool fish.

Potato Pancakes with Smoked Salmon, Sour Cream and Chives

  • 4 large Russet-type baking potatoes, peeled

  • 1 large yellow onion

  • 3 tablespoons bread crumbs 

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • vegetable oil for frying

  • 12 large slices smoked salmon

  • dairy sour cream (about 1 cup)

  • chopped chives or salmon caviar

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Shred the potatoes and onion using the shredding disk of a food processor. Using a handful or two at a time, place the shreds into a kitchen towel and squeeze as much liquid out as possible, then place the shreds in a bowl. Repeat with the remaining potato-onion mixture. Add the bread crumbs and toss the ingredients. Add the eggs, salt and pepper and mix to distribute the ingredients thoroughly. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Heat about 1/4-inch vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot enough to make a bread crumb sizzle, fry each portion, one at a time, for 2-3 minutes per side or until browned and crispy. Keep each pancake warm in the preheated oven until you finish frying all the batter. Place the pancakes on 6 plates. Top each with two slices of salmon. Top with a blob of sour cream in the center. Garnish the top of the sour cream with some chopped chives or a dollop of salmon caviar.

Makes 6 servings