Monday, September 13, 2010

Bleenies (Potato Cakes) and Blinis and Latkes, Oh My!

Ok, so I got a request the other day for good Bleenies. Now, you need to be educated about the difference between bleenies and blinis. They are not the same critter at all. And Jewish latkes is a close cousin to a bleenie. Blinis are Russian in origin and traditionally a flour type of pancake. Bleenies are a potato pancake, and centric to the Coal Region of Northeastern PA. The best are the greasiest at all the church picnic and block parties every summer (or so it seems). I am not giving out recipes here for Blinis.

For Bleenies and Latkes, you are in luck. And a finer food God did not create. It is manna from heaven for sure.


I fill up my 11 cup food processor with grated potatoes and about 2 onions grated medium. I put that in a big bowel, add a couple of beaten eggs, salt, pepper, chive and garlic, and then a few (around 4)  tbs. of flour as a binder. You want the mixture just thick enough to not be runny. I then have a heated fry pan with a little olive oil, and I put dollops in the fry pan, flatten them out and fry until it is golden brown on medium heat, flip, finish frying and then put on plates with paper towels on them. I serve them with a side of sour cream and chives. There is also a nice variation to use with zucchini. Half drained shredded zucchini/half shredded potato, do the rest the same. Delicious! These are a little more mild and sweet.


Bleenies should have more onion in them, and be finer shredded, unlike the latkes which is coarser and has lees onion. One variation on these is that some will used mashed potatoes with the finely shredded to get a real cake. That is up to you, I find them to get too dense and realllyyy greasy.

4 potatoes (grate on fine grater)

2 eggs

1 onion (grated with the potatoes)

2 or 3 tbsp. flour

Cooking oil

Mix all ingredients. Spoon mixture into the hot oil (do put too much oil in the pan; just enough to cover the bleenies as they fry). When they are lightly browned on one side, gently turn bleenies to fry the other side. Serve with salt or vinegar. Good with sour cream or pork & beans.

Hint: Drain potatoes thru a colander to make a much firmer bleenie.


  1. Love this site. From Hazleton and I know what you mean!

  2. We eat our bleenies topped with small curd cottage cheese

  3. We eat our bleenies topped with small curd cottage cheese

  4. My grandmother is from the coal regions of PA (Ashland) and this meal is one of her specialties. (Bleenies) We top them with peaches.