Thursday, December 11, 2008

Crispy Potato Pancake

So last week, on a very snowy night in Chicago, my usual channel was in tune on the tv...the Food Network...

From grits, to roasts to potato pancakes to was everything I could have wanted on a Tuesday night. Since I am hosting a little family get together for Hannakuh, I decided to give Giada's Baked Zucchini, Potato and Rosemary Pancake technique a try.

I love latki's and so does the rest of the family, however making them from scratch is always a little bit of a pain. First I used to grate them, by hand of coarse on a box grater...then you have to make sure all the liquid drains out...and then you make little pancakes and start to fry them...flipping them one at a at a time. Now if you are making 10 it's not a bit deal...but if you are making 20...thats a bit of a nusance.

So after getting my instant inspiration from Giada, I jumped off the couch and grabbed some potatoes, a few shallots (I ran out of onions) some rosemary and a few cloves of garlic.
*This is the point that you want to preheat your oven to 450-degrees. I know this temperature sounds high...but you need it at a high temperature so that your pancake can develop a nice crusty top. *
I personally am not a fan of zucchini so I omitted them from my recipe and just used straight potato. After taking about a half hour to figure out the shredder attachments on my food processor, I was ready to shred! In 10 seconds I had shredded all the potatoes and 2 shallots, no more box shredder for me!

I put the mixture in a kitchen towel and rung out all the liquid...this step is imperative, because if all the liquid is not rung out then your pancake will stay soggy and not get crispy. It was shocking how much liquid actually came out! After that I placed the mixture in a bowl, added in 2 eggs, and sprinkled in enough bread crumbs to soak up the remaining moisture. Then I preheated my 12 inch pan with some olive oil in it.

Once the oil was hot enough (about 2 minutes) I turned the heat down to med-high, and put my potato mixture in the pan. Make sure you pat it down firmly and sqwish it down so that all the potato's surface area is covered. After about 5-10 minutes the edges started getting beautiful and brown. I turned off the heat and went and got my secret ingredient. I sprinkled some Parmesan cheese right on top before putting it in the oven. The cheese gives it an even more beautiful crust and adds a little bit of saltiness! Then I stuck in the oven and 20 minutes later it was done.
I was so shocked at how gorgeous it looked! The beautiful little specs of green rosemary looked so festive in there! And look no flipping necessary and you still get that beautiful crust!
I loosened the bottom of the pancake with my rubber spatulaand eased the pancake out onto a plate
From the plate I put it on the cutting board and sliced it into slices using my pizza slicer...I could have probablly eaten the whole thing all by myself...but I figured that would require another hour on the stair master...and so I opted to save them.

For a dip I just whipped up some sour cream with chives, rosemaryand some citrus and voila! It tasted wonderfully with the potato pancake.

Here is the recipe inspired by Giada de Laurentis
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and grated
2 shallots, grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
***the magic ingredient: a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on the top***
Herb Sour Cream
6 sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons chopped chives
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and enjoy.

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