I've lived in Central New York for most of my life, yet never knew (or cared to know) the wonders of this region. I was unfamiliar with the regional farmers' market up until last year; I didn't have a taste for wine, much less local, and most of my produce was bought at the grocery store.
Now that I'm getting to know this area once again, it's exciting to see how many small and organic farms there are, farm stands filled with heirloom veggies and bright sunflowers, and CSAs with abundant fresh crops. I like knowing the lady who sells us the full fat yogurt from her 12 milking cows who graze on green pastures. I like supporting people down the road, or a few miles away. And you know what? Everything tastes better. No ethylene gas injected in those tomatoes, because they're from our backyard (fertilized with our horses' poop!). No "unidentifiable ingredients" on packaging labels. Eggs from happy chickens that are allowed to walk around, unburdened with dangerous antibiotics that are manifest in feedlots.
What happened to the days when a potato was just an honest potato? Did they ever exist? Anyhow, these potato pancakes (requested by my mom, who claims she's been asking my dad to make some for her during the last 30 years- to no avail) are made from honest potatoes. I'm getting to know the farmers, and I like supporting them. The green onions are from the Amish market, also grown locally. The egg is from a happy chicken just miles away. The garlic is also from the farmers' market- a huge 'ol clove of it. Believe me, it tastes better this way.
2 large potatoes (I used 4 medium ones), peeled and coarsely grated
1 TBSP minced or pressed garlic
¼ cup green onions, thinly sliced (the green part!)
2 TBSP cornstarch
Salt and pepper
2 TBSP olive oil, plus more as needed
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Take the peeled and shredded potatoes and squeeze them very well between clean towels (cloth or paper). Try and squeeze out all the liquid that you can.
Mix the potatoes, garlic, sliced green onions, egg, and cornstarch in a mixing bowl. Add in salt and pepper and mix well to combine.
Heat 2 TBSP oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, lower heat to medium. Using your hands, form the pancakes into about 3-inch diameter cakes. If you need, wet your hands slightly so that they don't stick. Add to the hot oil and cook, a few minutes on each side, until lightly golden in color. If needed, cook in batches, adding a little oil to the pan before adding more pancakes.
Place the pan-fried pancakes on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat and bake in the center of the preheated oven until crisp and golden on the outside, about 10 minutes.
P.S. We had these for dinner, served with yogurt. I'm sure they'd be equally as good topped with pesto or another sauce, or served for brunch with syrup.