Potato Leek Pancake; power lines down, again

I don’t know why a circle of fried, cohesive vegetables is referred to as a ‘pancake’ but who am I to argue with The Powers That Be in the culinary world.

Actually, culinary terms seem to be tossed about with abandon everywhere.

According to the internet American pancakes are fluffy and thick.

My mother hated thick pancakes and always made hers thin (which I loved)…. Which is, apparently, an English pancake.

The English pancake is close to, but not quite as thin as a French pancake, also known as a crêpe and served either sweet or savory, but not for breakfast (usually).

A common nickname in the U.S. for pancakes is flapjacks.

In England a flapjack is like an oatmeal granola bar.

They also are not served, hot, with butter and maple syrup, for breakfast.

I didn’t uncover a reason for labeling flat vegetable circles ‘pancakes’, but, as a cake in the U.S. is a sweet dessert with a moist crumb and frosting (icing to the Brits); and a dried fruit-filled dense pudding in the U.K.; and a savory bread in France…. Cake didn’t seem a good choice either.

Whatever you want to call it – it’s easy, delicious, and a fun addition to your potato repertoire.

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Potato Leek Pancake

This is based on a recipe from an old French Country Cookbook. It’s a simple side dish that I’ve been making for years.
This makes one large pancake for 2 servings. If I were doing the recipe for more people, I would make multiple, individual cakes which would be easier to handle

  • Author: Katie Zeller
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Potatoes


  • 2 medium potatoes, (12oz, 360gr total), shredded
  • 1 leek, including light green, rinsed, cut in half the long way, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper 


  • Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Put the shredded potatoes into a bowl, add the cooked leeks and stir to combine.
  • Melt the butter in the same skillet.
  • Add the potato/leek mixture, flatten as best you can with a spatula, cover and cook over medium heat about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are golden – take a peak around the edges.
  • Put a plate (or tray) on top of the skillet. Grabbing the plate and skillet together (with hot pads) flip them over so that the cake is on the plate. Slide the cake back into the pan to cook the other side, another 7 – 10 minutes, but don’t cover.
  • When done, slide onto a plate, sprinkle with salt and pepper, cut into wedges and serve.


You could use thinly sliced shallots or onion in place of the leek.

Keywords: potato leek cake, potato pancake

Potato Leek Pancake

I thought you would like an update on our tree / power line tangle.

The electric company came last week (on Monday) to repair the lines and put them all back up on the poles where they belong.

The owner of the trees decided (apparently) to make a preemptive move and have the large tree that was hanging over the road, striking fear into the hearts of all of us, taken down.

Sadly, either the people hired to do the job were not experts, or they made an error in judgement when making the cuts because the tree fell on top of the newly repaired phone and power lines.

Naturally, they did this on a Friday.

Once again we had power lines looping across the road.

Once again we had a phone line broken in multiple places.

When I walked up to survey the problem and find out when we would be able to leave our house, I met my French neighbor coming home from work.

We met on either side of the tree that was laying across the road.

She couldn’t get home and I couldn’t leave.


She, being French, was able to express her unhappiness much more, um, eloquently to everyone involved.

They got the tree moved and later that day the power company came and picked the lines off the road. This time they left red banners saying ‘Danger: Death’ on the looping lines.

The phone company came and gave us ‘provisional’ internet yesterday.

We are, once again, waiting for the permanent repairs.

We hope, once again, that the trees stay upright.

6 thoughts on “Potato Leek Pancake; power lines down, again”

  1. I’m so sorry about the problems! If it’s not one thing for you, it’s been another.

    Your ‘pancake’ is similar to the potato pancakes my Scots grandmother used to make. I loved them! Could eat them by the dozens. Hubs is not so fond though I don’t know why. He loves potatoes. He might like this better since there’s no egg in it. Come to think of it, he loves eggs too…

    • I just say their hash browns (which he loves) and all is good. Sometimes there is just no accounting for taste. My son won’t eat potatoes in any form – except chips..

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