Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Scallion Potato Cakes
Try making this simple recipe that I had adapted from Thomas Keller’s “ad hoc at home” cookbook, Scallion Potato Cakes. The potato cakes are crispy on the outside after being pan fried; but, remains light and tasty on the inside. If you like scallions, do slice one or two more stalks and mix into the potato mixture. This will give the potato cakes a little more pungent fragrance and also makes them taste real good too. I made this as one of my side dish for lunch earlier this week. Fantastic!
Recipe adapted from Thomas Keller’s “ad hoc at home” cookbook.
Scallion Potato Cakes
3 lbs Large Russet Potatoes
½ Cup Cornstarch
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Preheat the oven to 200˚F. Set a cooling rack on a baking sheet.
Cut away the ends of the scallions on a severe diagonal and discard, and then cut the dark greens into very thin slices. (Reserve the remaining scallions for another use.) Set aside.
Set up a food processor with a coarse shredding blade. Peel the potatoes and shred them. Immediately transfer them to large bowl of cold water and swirl and rinse the potatoes. Lift them from the water and dry in a salad spinner. Transfer to another large bowl. Spoon the cornstarch around the sides of the bowl and toss the potatoes with it (adding the cornstarch this way will help to coat the potatoes evenly). Do not let the potatoes sit for too long, or they will release their starch and the centers of the potatoes can become sticky.
Heat some oil in a 10-inch nonstick frying pan over medium high heat until the oil is shimmering. Turn down the heat to medium. Add 1/6 of the potatoes, gently spreading them into an 8 to 9-inch circle. Keep the potato cake light and airy; do not press down on the potatoes. Season the mixture with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Reserve ¼ cup of the scallion greens for garnish, and sprinkle 1/3 of the remaining scallion greens over the potatoes. Carefully spread another 1/6 of the potatoes on top; again, do not press down on them. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes, to brown the bottom. You should hear the potatoes sizzling in the oil; if the potatoes get quiet and are not sizzling, or the pan looks dry, add a bit more oil. Turn the pancake over to brown the second side. The pancakes are somewhat fragile and can be difficult to flip with a spatula; if you don’t feel comfortable turning them, invert the pancake onto the back of a baking sheet, held tilted over a second baking sheet, as some oil may seep out, then return the pan to the heat and slide the potato cake into the pan browned side up. Cook until the second side is browned and crisp, then transfer to the rack and keep warm in the oven while you cook the remaining 2 pancakes.
Cut each pancake into 4 wedges, stack on a platter, and garnish with the reserved scallion greens.