A few weeks ago I invited some friends over for brunch as a way to ease out of the holiday season and into the winter hibernation. I had promised to make cottage cheese pancakes for one of the invitees and I decided to make a savory version of latkes or potato pancakes. Surprising the guests all claimed ignorance of this food and I explained they can be served sweet or savory, but I wanted savory as a counterpoint to the cottage cheese pancakes.
I added serrano pepper to a basic latkes recipe for a little added heat and topped with sautéed onions, sour cream, salsa and fresh cilantro.
Latkes (or potato pancakes)
4 medium potatoes, peeled and grated
1 med. onion, grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 t. baking soda
1-2 garlic cloves
1 serrano pepper, seeded
fat for frying
1. Wash potatoes and peel them. Let rest in cold water for at least one hour or overnight.
2. Grate potatoes with a fine grater and press to squeeze out excess liquid (use an old kitchen towel or paper towels). Peel and grate the onion into the potatoes.
3. In mini-chopper, beat egg, garlic, serrano pepper, salt, pepper, and baking soda. Add to potatoes and onions and mix well.
4. Heat fat (butter, oil...) in a large skillet and add one spoonful of the mixture for each pancake. They should not be too thick. Cook gently until golden brown on the bottom, urn and brown other side. Add more fat as necessary.
5. Serve with sour cream, salsa, sautéed onions, and fresh cilantro.