It’s been a long time coming actually. Moving from the system of measuring everything by cups to weights has made a huge difference in the outcome of gluten free baking. Heck, it makes a difference in any kind of baking. And now we get to start thinking about food making in terms of ratios with thanks to Michael Ruhlman.
Ratios are like the blueprint of cooking. Think of it as the bones of recipes. If you become comfortable with ratios – any food preparation becomes your own customization. No recipe needed.
Take pancakes, for example. The typical ratio is 4:4:2:1. That would be 4 parts flour to 4 parts liquid to 2 parts egg to one part fat. As long as you know that particular ratio = pancakes you can make the quantity as big or small as you want. You can customize it any way you like.
We enjoy our weekend pancakes, but we love potato pancakes even more. We usually only eat them around Hanukkah and call them latkes. But they’re good any time of year and sometimes on a cold weekend morning, a potato pancake seems perfect.
Their pancake ratio is a little different, but follows the same pattern. Since the main ingredient is potato, that would be the largest portion of the ratio. It goes like this: 18 parts potato: 6 parts onion: 3 parts egg: 1 part GF flour.
The great thing about this ratio is that it is very, very forgiving. Your potatoes might be larger, might be smaller, might be yukon v. russet or even sweet potato. Your onion might be shallot, green onion, or leek. An egg is an egg. But your flour could be any gluten free flour.
Our version uses the plain, but useful russet potato although any kind of potato will do. Add that onion for flavor and don’t forget to be generous with the salt and pepper. Just remember to wring the moisture out of those potatoes for the best result. It’s messy, but worth every crunchy bite.
You can make a wonderful heart healthy version by making sure you use a good organic vegetable oil, organic potatoes, fat free sour cream or yogurt, and organic-no-sugar-added applesauce. And then take a nice long walk. That would be the healthy version.
Makes about 15-18 pancakes. Heat oven to warm, about 175 degrees. Line a baking sheet with layers of paper towels.
- 3 medium to large russets
- 1 onion
- 60 grams (1/3 cup) brown rice flour
- 3 large eggs whisked
- Salt and pepper to taste (be generous)
- Veggie, peanut or other high heat oil (enough to maintain about ¼ inch in the fry pan)
- Sour cream
- Tums (optional)
Wash the potatoes. Cut potatoes in half and place in cold water (to keep them from turning brown). Peel skin off onion and cut in large pieces. Use grater setting on food processor and alternately push through potato and onion.
Mix the shredded stuff in a bowl. Take half and put in back in the food processor with the cutting blade this time, and finely mush it up. Place it all in a colander (inside a larger bowl) lined with a clean dish towel and squeeze the life out of the potato/onion mixture to get the liquid out. It will be messy, but keep going until they it is pretty dry.
Empty out the liquid. Dump the dry potato/onion mixture into the same bowl and add in the flour and eggs and seasoning. Mix well.
Heat the oil until a tiny bit of the mixture sizzles when dropped in. Scoop about ¼ cup for each pancake, smash into round-ish patties and fry over medium heat until nicely browned and flip – same for the other side. (If the oil is not hot enough, the potatoes will absorb the oil and just be greasy – and if the oil is too hot, the potatoes will be black on the outside and the inside will be raw)
Place finished pancakes on the paper towel lined cookie sheet in a 175 degree oven to keep warm while finishing up the 300 other latkes.
Serve warm topped with sour cream and applesauce. And then take a nice walk.