Jacques Pépin's Criques (Crispy Potato Pancakes)



Author Notes: Adapted slightly from More Fast Food My Way (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008).Genius Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 15 min

Ingredients

For the pancakes:

  • 2 cups (400g) peeled and cubed (about 1-inch) Russet potatoes
  • 1 cup (100g) cubed (about 1-inch) white or yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons potato starch or all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced scallions
  • Peanut or canola oil, to sauté the pancakes

For the salad:

  • 4 cups salad greens, like arugula or a mix
  • 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Dash salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Put the potatoes, onion, garlic, eggs, potato starch, baking powder, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Process for about 30 seconds to combine the ingredients well. The texture will be grainy. Stir or briefly pulse in the scallions.
  2. Heat about 3 tablespoons oil in a large, nonstick skillet over high heat. When it is hot, add about 1/4 cup batter, spreading it out to form a pancake about 4 inches in diameter. Repeat this to have 4 pancakes cooking side by side in the pan. (If using a smaller pan, make multiple batches.) Cook the pancakes for about 3 minutes on each side over medium to high heat, fiddling with the heat as needed to make sure they don’t burn before they cook through. They should be well browned and not squishy in the middle—you want to be sure the onions in the batter have a chance to cook through and lose their raw taste.
  3. Transfer the pancakes to a wire rack so they don’t get mushy on the underside. Continue making pancakes until all the batter is used, adding more oil to the pan as needed. Serve. (The criques are best fresh from the pan but can be made 1 to 2 hours ahead and reheated on a baking sheet in a 425° F oven for about 5 minutes before serving.)
  4. To make the salad, toss the greens in a bowl with the olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Divide among four plates and arrange the criques on top.

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Reviews (20) Questions (0)

20 Comments

Stephanie B. July 31, 2018
Made these on a weeknight and they were just as easy and delicious as I hoped they would be. I used Yukon Golds and tapioca flour. I served them with a salad as suggested, as well as a slice of smoked salmon and a dill creme fraiche sauce. I'm definitely going to try these in a waffle iron too!
 
lsm June 1, 2018
I made this recipe 4 times. The first time was a total failure, had my pan too hot. So they were burned and not cooked through. The neighborhood cats liked them! The second attempt was little better. But I didn't get the crisp edges. The third time was pretty good. Both my husband and next door neighbor liked them. So the fourth batch was the winning attempt. Crisp on the edges and done in the middle. But I think I will stick with my potato pancake recipe. It takes a little longer but comes out the way I like my potato pancakes. But this recipe is great for making in the waffle iron. I used half of the last batch to try making waffles. Now that turned out great. So if I use this recipe again I will make potato waffles.
 
Kristen M. June 4, 2018
Thanks for being so dedicated—great to know about the waffle version.
 
food52fan May 31, 2018
Got this recipe in my email yesterday and knew it would fit the bill for dinner tonight! I followed the recipe as written and it was a big hit. Served it with sides of sour cream and chunky applesauce, and a salad of red leaf lettuce, arugala, radicchio, tomatoes, cucumber, blueberries, and feta cheese. I did use minimal oil to cook the pancakes and they turned out nicely browned. Really enjoyed this dish and will make it again!
 
Kristen M. June 4, 2018
Glad you enjoyed it!
 
Sonya May 30, 2018
Any thoughts on using 2tsps of gluten free flour instead of potato starch?
 
Mary T. May 30, 2018
Yes, I do. :-)
 
Sonya May 30, 2018
Care to share them? :)
 
Kristen M. June 4, 2018
Gluten-free flour should be just fine here.
 
Mary T. May 30, 2018
I've often made a recipe much like this from a recipe booklet that came with a Waring Blendor I got as a wedding present almost 50 years ago. They are great with Grafschafter Apfelschmaus that i was lucky to find as a closeot at the grocery. Available on Amazon for $7/jar plus shipping! It's amazingly tart but only contains 90%apples, 10% pears and sugar!<br />
 
Kristen S. May 30, 2018
Is this something that would work with Yukon Golds? Or do you need to stick to Russet b/c of the starch or texture? Thanks!
 
Francine H. May 30, 2018
The starch in russets help, but should work w/ Yukon. Would not do a waxy potato though. Yukon Golds are in between .
 
Kristen M. June 4, 2018
I've done it with Yukon Golds as well and it's worked out fine—just a slightly different texture.
 
Hannah May 30, 2018
So, the scallions are already (magically) minced when you add them to the other ingredients? Isn't there any way to sequence the recipe so that the scallions get minced in the food processor?
 
Kristen M. June 4, 2018
That seems like something you could experiment with, but since you're already roughly chopping the potatoes and onions, I've found it's also quick to finely chop a couple scallions.
 
Shari D. May 30, 2018
This is the in depth article about these potato pancakes - it explains why it is important that the potatoes are raw when you put them in the food processor: https://food52.com/blog/22426-how-jacques-pepin-makes-crispy-genius-grater-free-potato-pancakes?bxid=542f2c64a6cba8e2595897e0&utm_campaign=20180530_eds_weeklygenius_nonbuyer&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_term=13394714
 
ehrrin May 30, 2018
Are the potatoes raw or cooked to start?
 
Elizabeth S. May 30, 2018
raw potatoes - cooked potatoes will turn sticky and gooey.
 
Christy Z. May 30, 2018
I wonder how this would do in a waffle iron? You could cut it up in cubes like a crouton? Or keep it as a waffle and the toppings are endless!
 
Elizabeth S. May 30, 2018
In my opinion (just my opinion), the onions would not cook all the way in a waffle iron. If you sautéed the onions before adding to the potatoes, the waffle iron might work.