Potato Cakes made with the Wild Onion, will keep you waiting for spring to come. Potato Cakes are an old timey treat, but, these potato cakes are made with a North American treat! The wild onion, native to nearly every state in the united states, can be eaten raw or cooked and has a strong onion flavor and aroma that will add a touch of the wild to any of your savory recipes!
LOADED WILD ONION POTATO PANCAKES
Your standard potato pancakes are an an old world and new world staple, good for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner! Well, here is a wild version of potato pancakes that will make your mouth water, and impress anyone which has the pleasure of eating one.
These potato pancakes can be taken on the go, or even better, eaten while relaxing. The inclusion of wild onions, gives a healthy dose of nutrition from a plant that was growing just moments before you started cooking with it.
Harvesting wild onions will not take you any longer than going to the store or ordering online. If you have kids or grandkids, you know that they have a natural affinity for plants and will help you harvest all the onions you need. While at the same time, you are teaching them a skill that will help them thrive in the world.
HOW TO MAKE LOADED WILD ONION POTATO PANCAKES:
Start by peeling your potatoes. (Don’t cut yourself!)
Cut up your potatoes to an even size. Doesn’t have to be perfect. The smaller you cut them the faster they will cook.
Add potatoes to salted water and turn on heat to begin boiling them. I always add potatoes before I heat up my water. It takes longer, but it keeps me from getting splashed by boiling water when I put them in.
HOW TO HARVEST WILD ONIONS:
An easy way to identify wild onions is by the flower heads. Similar to other onion and garlic flowers. This is a young, closed flower and smells very strong of onions when crushed.
You can also easily identify wild onions by their flower blooms, which look beautiful on any dish, and have a delicious onion flavor and smell.
Allium canadense typically flowers in the spring, and early summer. I would start looking around late April. Flowers range from pink to white.
Here is the base of a cluster of wild onions. They grow single or in clusters like this one.
Notice the papery sheath at the base of the onion plant, which give way to the grass-like, tubular leaves of the onion plant.
I normally harvest clusters because I can get more onions with one scoop. The rest I let go to seed for next years harvest.
To harvest wild onion bulbs, place your digging tool at the base of the plant and insert 2 or 3 inches into the ground. Scoop under and around the onion bulbs, and pop them up out of the ground.
Behold your freshly dug, wild onion bulbs! Use your hands to separate the onion bulbs, and knock the dirt out of the roots.
Lay them in your basket. I also picked some lambs quarters for this recipe.
Camo Crocs, Optional.
Wash the entire plant with clean water. Remove the roots, and any brown, or, undesirable looking leaves.
Here are the bulbs, washed and peeled.
The bulbs have a papery sheath on the outside like a domestic onion. Try to remove as much of it as you can. If you miss a few, its no biggie.
If you like the wild onions, there are plenty of wild onion recipes to work with.
Finely chop the onion greens. Pinch the onion greens together with your fingers and use smooth, consistent, and repetitive hand movements to slice onion greens very fine.
Finely Dice up your washed onion bulbs, onion greens, and Lambs Quarters.
Slice up some bacon. I make my own homemade bacon, but store bought is just fine!
If you are slicing from the slab. It is much easier to make a uniform, and thin slice, if the bacon is half frozen. It makes the meat and fat more solid, and the slab keeps its shape as you slice.
Cut bacon slices into tiny cubes, a little smaller than your pinky nail. Cook your bacon in a skillet until it is good and brown.
By this time, your potatoes should be ready to mash. If you can stick a fork in it, and the potato falls off the fork, this is a good indication they are cooked.
Drain your potatoes and mash them. I like to use a whisk to mash potatoes! I do this, because the natural starches in the potatoes rub against each other, and pulverize when you mix them. Turning the larger pieces into smaller ones, mashing them.
To the mashed potatoes, add your diced wild onion bulbs, corn starch, garlic power, and eggs. Use your hands or a utensil to mix thoroughly.
Divide the mixture into 6 even balls. A good serving size would be about what you can fit in 2 hands cupped together (like you would hold a frog).
Use your fingers, or the back of a spoon to open a pocket in the potato dough.
Fill the pocket with diced wild onion greens, mozzarella cheese (or whatever you please), diced lambs quarter greens, and homemade bacon bits.
At this point of this recipe, you could really get wild with any ingredients that you want to put into the potato pancake.
Wrap the potato dough around the filling, and use your hands to press it into a patty, or pancake shape.
You could make this into whatever shape you want to. Use a cookie cutter to cut out a beautiful leaf shape for a spring breakfast, or an acorn shape for a summer lunch.
Heat up enough oil in a skillet that will cover the bottom half of your pancake. This makes both the bottom, and the outsides of the pancake, cook and brown evenly.
After they are cooked golden brown, remove your loaded wild onion potato pancakes from your skillet. Use a plate and paper towel, or good quality kitchen towel, to drain excess oil from your Onion cakes.
Enjoy Your Loaded Wild Onion Potato Pancakes!!!
POISONOUS LOOK-ALIKES TO LOOK OUT FOR:
Toxicoscordion venenosum – Death Camas is a plant which is commonly mistaken for wild onion and wild garlic. Similarities include bulbs and leaves.
DEATH CAMAS DOES NOT SMELL LIKE ONIONS.
If you crush any part of the your wild onions, it will reek like onion! While, Death Camas does not have any such scent. Use this method to make sure you never pick Death Camas by accident!
The flower of Death Camas, also is hugely different from the onion. The onion has a plain bract like flower, while the Death Camas has flowers which descend down the stem of the flowering stalk.
Wild Onion Range Map
Allium Canadense as is seen here, grows in most US states and parts of canada. There are varieties of Allium that grow in the Western United States, which I will cover in future posts.
This plant can cause gastroenteritis in young children that consume parts of the plant. If symptoms of gastroenteritis occur, discontinue feeding Allium Canadense to the child. Only danger is dehydration, ensure you give them plenty of liquids.
Chronic ingestion of bulbs reduces iodine uptake in the thyroid gland, which can lead to problems when you are older. Again, only known cures are to prevent dehydration. Prevent this by only eating the bulbs seasonally, and/or only eating the onion greens.
- 1/2 cup chopped wild onion
- 1/4 cup diced lambs quarters
- 6 medium sized potatoes
- 1/4 cup homemade bacon bits
- 6 slices of mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Wash, peel, dice, and boil potatoes.
- Harvest, wash, and chop the wild onion and lambs quarters. Slice cheese, dice bacon, and cook bacon bits.
- Drain and mash potatoes, add corn starch, some diced onion bulb, eggs, salt and pepper, mix well.
- Make potato patties, stuff them with cheese, bacon bits, wild onion, and lambs quarters
- Heat up oil in a pan. Use any oil you want to use. Vegetable oil, canola oil, or lard would do just fine.
- Cook until golden brown, and enjoy while they are hot or cold.
Use the drippings from the bacon in the oil you cook your pancakes in. This will add great flavor to the crust!
Serving Size:1 cake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400