Snake River Grill’s Potato Pancakes
This elevated, iconic take on hash browns got its first refresh in 30 years.
// By Samantha Simma
Years pass and seasons change, but you can always find the Potato Pancake on the menu at the Snake River Grill. The version on the menu this winter looks a little different though (more on that below). The starter is as much of an institution as the fine-dining restaurant itself. Since its founding in 1993—it’s been in the same location just off Jackson’s Town Square since it opened—the Grill’s accolades have included being nominated for Best Chef Northwest by the James Beard Foundation and feature articles in magazines like Wine Spectator, Bon Appetit, and Gourmet.
The idea for the original potato pancake came from the Grill’s founding managing partner, August Spier. “He discovered it while dining out, brought the idea to our original chef, and asked him to recreate it,” says managing partner Katie Cooper. After 30 years, “There are a few factors that have lead us to change it,” Cooper says. “We need to remind ourselves that it’s ok to grow and change.” Also, the new version is gluten free. And bite-sized.
An elevated version of crispy hash browns fried in butter, the potato cubes are topped with a shallot sour cream that is made in-house, sustainably raised Atlantic salmon from Catsmo Smokehouse, and chives. “We’ve found a way to improve the dish while maintaining the same original concept,” says chef Addison Fleming. “It’s important to honor tradition, but also to embrace forward momentum, so we decided to give our most tried and true of SRG classics a breath of fresh air.” $23; open for dinner at 5 p.m. Monday–Saturday; 84 E. Broadway Ave.; 307/733-0557, snakerivergrill.com
Original potato pancake Recipe
2 Idaho russet potatoes, peeled
½ large white onion
½ tsp. white pepper
¼ cup all-purpose flour (the original potato pancake was not gluten-free)
3 tsp. lemon juice
Butter or oil for frying
Cold smoked salmon and diced chives for serving
Grate the potatoes and onion. Combine, seasoning with white pepper. Squeeze the mixture in your hands to remove excess starch and moisture. Add flour and lemon juice, mixing well. To cook, use a medium flat sauté pan. Add two tablespoons of butter or oil of choice to the pan. Add about one cup of potato mixture to the pan. Spread out by hand to form a round, flat shape. Cook over medium-high heat until golden brown. Flip using a spatula and cook the other side for another 4–5 minutes or until toasted brown in color.
Shallot sour cream
1 cup sour cream
4 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. kosher salt
¾ tsp. cracked black pepper
Combine all ingredients and mix well. After the potato pancake is completely cooked, spread two tablespoons of the shallot sour cream on one side. Garnish the pancake with cold smoked salmon and sprinkle with diced chives. JH