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Sunday, 15 July 2012


 Dinner menu : 
                Braised duck:  Savella p. 139
                 Selyanski Kartoplyaniki  (Potato Pancakes) :  Savella p. 276
                Orange Broccoli

With his Irish background, Bryan, of course, took charge of the potato dish, but Savella’s recipe (called  “Country Kartoplyanyky”)  was problematic:

  1.  Savella says grate the potatoes on a fine grater.  That turns the potatoes into a liquid mush.  Is that what’s wanted?
  2. Now, here’s a big problem:  how do you keep the potatoes from turning black before you get them cooked?
  3.  How do you make enough small potato pancakes that take 5 minutes per side to be able to serve them HOT to your family?  Even with 4 patties in a pan, that will take 20 minutes just to make 8 patties or 30 minutes to make 12. 
  4. How do you keep the finished pancakes hot, while you’re spending 10 minutes on the next batch? 
Savella calls for 3 large potatoes.  We had enough patties for 4 people, leftovers, and still tossed out some of the remaining uncooked potatoes.

Savella’s recipe got some creative interpretation resulting in :

                                                      Shoe-string Hashbrowns

                                                        (inspired by Savella)

 Bryan decided to use a medium grater.  The result was very tasty although not really a pancake.

He kept the grated potatoes immersed in cold water until he was ready to fry them.

Since I was preparing the meat, Bryan was able to concentrate on the potato patties.  Including them as a side-dish would be very difficult if done last-minute in a one-person operation.

Bryan set the finished patties on paper towels and kept them warm in the oven. 

                2 large potatoes                                               ½ tsp salt
                2 eggs                                                                   ¼ tsp pepper
                1 tbsp grated onion                                        ½ tsp baking powder
                2 tbsp flour                                                         Duck fat or oil
                Chopped dill

  1.  Grate onion.
  2. Grate potatoes on a medium grater.  Immerse immediately in cold water.
  3. Preheat oven to 200 degrees to keep finished patties warm.
  4. Set up a pan for the oven and line with paper towels.
  5. Set up well-greased frying pan.
  6. Put all the ingredients except potatoes into a large mixing bowl.
  7. Drain potatoes and add to other ingredients.
  8. Drop potato mixture onto the hot frying pan in small rounds.  Bake over moderate heat about 5 minutes per side until they are well browned.
  9. Transfer finished patties to oven and continue frying the rest of the patties.
  10. Garnish with dill.

My cousin, Marilyn, says that she and her daughter had rosti in Lucerne  "but tons of rendered fat was added from a tin can that sat at the back of a wood stove.. Grandma had a tin like that at the back of her wood stove".

Marilyn also said that Paula in Lucerne used raw potatoes where as our recent Swiss visitors used parboiled potatoes .
(Parboiling could be another way to prevent the potatoes from blackening.)

Marilyn said, "The cooked pototo certainly had a different texture than the raw. Paula grated the raw potato, similar size that Bryan used.. fried the potato in tons of fat, then placed it all in a hot cast iron pan and baked it in the oven.. I did the same.. but skimped on the fat.. so it was crusty in the centre but mashed in side.."