Potato Fritters

Beignets de Pommes de Terre

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Servings:


Appears in

Simple French Food

By Richard Olney

Published 1974

  • About

One may, eliminating the flour and the olive oil, make thin pancakes from this batter, cooking them as for flat omelets in butter, olive oil, or a mixture, as one prefers, but keeping them for longer over a lower flame, covered until tossing and finished uncovered, so that each side is crisply golden. They should be eaten hot from the pan and it is impractical to prepare them for more than 2 or 3 people. A salad of wild or other slightly bitter greens would complement them handsomely.

Poor-quality potatoes often exude a dismaying quantity of starchy liquid after being shredded in this way. Should this happen, press them against the side of the mixing bowl, pouring off excess liquid, before adding the other ingredients.


  • 10 ounces potatoes, grated or passed through medium blade of Mouli-juliènne
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (plus olive oil for frying)


Sprinkle the potatoes with the flour and the seasonings, add the egg and the oil, beat the egg with a fork, then stir thoroughly until the potatoes are in a suspension of well-blended batter.

Heat from ¾ to 1 inch olive oil in a large skillet until hot, but not smoking—a drop of batter should sizzle at contact. Slip in a heaping teaspoonful of the mixture, taking no care to form them neatly—a few straggling wisps only add to the charm, making the fritters crisply spider- or crab-like. Stir each time before taking up a new spoonful, don’t try to fry too many at a time, and adjust the flame—repeatedly, if necessary—to prevent the oil from overheating or cooling. When the undersides are deeply golden, delicately turn each over with the tines of a fork. A flat wire skimming spoon (araignée) is the most practical instrument with which to remove them. Drain on absorbent paper for a few moments before serving.