Sicilian Potato Pancakes with Caramelized Orange

By • April 5, 2012 2 Comments

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Author Notes: These little hors d’oeuvres are creamy and rich with potato and shallot, and the surprise of the caramelized orange is quite a delight! They are adapted from an ancient recipe of unknown origin, but one that I have loved for many years.

What is special about these is that a cooked pureed orange is added to the mashed potato base and as they bake, the orange caramelizes on the outside of the pancake. A sour cream topping brings it all together.

The common use of citrus in Sicilian cuisine is the result of the Turks conquering Sicily in the 9th century. They brought with them citrus, raisins,dates, nuts and much more.



Makes 80 hors d'oeuvre size; serves 6 as side dish

Cooking the orange

  • 1 small orange, preferably seedless
  • pinch of baking soda
  1. Cook the orange in a pan of water with the baking soda, cover and simmer 45-50 minutes. Drain, cut up and remove any seeds. Puree orange in processor.

Potato pancakes

  • 3-4 medium baking potatoes (2lbs)
  • 1/4c & 1 T Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sour cream
  1. Peel the potatoes,cube and steam 5-10 minutes until very tender/easily pierced with a skewer.(Or blanch potatoes til tender.) Mash potatoes while hot with a potato masher, not a mixer or processor. They are better if there is still some texture in them, so a few lumps are fine.
  2. In the hot butter, cook shallots until translucent. Add orange and cook until mixture is fairly dry. Combine with potato, salt, pepper and egg yolks. Alternately, roll wanut sized balls and place close together on baking sheet, using your palms (dipped in water) to flatten into discs. .
  3. Roll wanut sized balls. Place 2 1/2" apart on baking sheet lined with non-stick sprayed parchment paper or silpat. Use your palms (dipped in water) to flatten balls into discs of 1/8"- 1/4 " thickness.
  4. Bake in 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or until lightly browned and caramelized around the edges. Serve and pipe with sour cream
  5. Steaming Note:* Steaming potatoes preserves their vitamins better, rather than losing nutritional value in blanching water. It is also a much faster and safer method than boiling. I use an easily-stored 2 tiered aluminum steamer with a domed lid- that I found in a Chinese restaurant supply store.
  6. Notes: If you want to make these as a brunch side dish, you could also pat a 1/2" layer of the mixture to fill a hot oiled non stick pan, and cook til bottom is browned. Flip the large cake, cook til bottom is browned,and interior is hot, then slide out onto a platter and cut into wedges.

More Great Recipes: Side Dishes|Potatoes|Hors d'oeuvres|Pancakes