Rethinking the latke for St. Patrick's Day
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
When the people of Dublin, Ireland, elected their first Jewish mayor -- Robert Briscoe in 1956 -- baseball legend Yogi Berra allegedly exclaimed "Only in America!" This St. Patrick's Day recipe for corned beef and potato pancakes with pickled cabbage creme fraiche was created in that same spirit.
Potato latkes, traditionally served at Hanukkah, are the inspiration for these crispy potato and onion patties. But in this version, flavorful shreds of corned beef along with a pickled cabbage topping are added as a tribute to Ireland.
Be sure to use pre-shredded hash brown potatoes, which can be found in either the produce or dairy section of most grocers. These are much drier than freshly grated potatoes and will ensure crispy results that hold together well in the frying pan.
If you can't find those, you can peel and shred your own russets. But before cooking them, roll the shreds up in a clean dishtowel, then squeeze out as much moisture as possible.
Corned Beef and Potato Pancaked with Pickled Cabbage Creme Fraiche
Makes about 16 pancakes
1 cup pickled or sweet and sour red cabbage
1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
20-ounce bag fresh shredded potatoes or thawed frozen shredded potatoes (about 4 cups)
1 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1/3 pound thinly sliced corned beef, cut into thin strips
3 egg whites, whisked until frothy
Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
In a medium bowl, stir together the pickled cabbage and creme fraiche. Transfer to a serving bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, pepper and baking powder. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, onion, corned beef, egg whites and the reserved flour mixture. Mix well to make a batter that is loose, but holds together well, adding a bit more flour if necessary.
In a large skillet over medium-high, heat about 1/2 inch of oil until a shred of potato dropped into it sizzles immediately.
Working in batches and using about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake, drop the batter into the oil, leaving several inches between the pancakes. Flatten the pancakes slightly with the back of a spatula. Fry, turning once, until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove to a platter lined with paper towels.
Serve immediately with pickled cabbage creme fraiche. The pancakes also can be reheated on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven.