To make crispy potato pancakes, finely grate 2 medium peeled potatoes, drain the liquid, and put the potatoes into a large bowl. Add 1 egg, 1/3 cup of chopped onion, 1 tablespoon flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon each pepper and garlic powder, mixing well. Heat 1/8 inch of canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat, drop the potato batter by 1/4 cupfuls, lightly pressing to flatten, and fry until golden brown on both sides.
Rachel Ray's recipe for crisp potato pancakes uses mashed potatoes, made by peeling, dicing, and boiling 2 large Idaho potatoes until tender. Drain the potatoes, and return them to the pot to dry the remaining liquid. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, adding 3 to 4 ounces cream cheese, softened by microwaving for 20 seconds in a microwavable bowl. Mix in 2 tablespoons sour cream, 2 tablespoons minced scallions, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, 1 slightly beaten egg, salt and black pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon each olive oil and butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Drop potatoes into the skillet in 2-inch mounds, press down gently to flatten each, and fry them until golden brown on each side.
To cut preparation time, place 3 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes in a strainer, rinse with cold water, drain thoroughly, and place the potatoes in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly with 2 tablespoons flour, 2 lightly beaten eggs, 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat, drop the potato mixture by 1/3 cupfuls into the skillet, and fry until golden brown on both sides. Drain any excess oil on paper towels.