Waste-not Ginger-Scallion Potato "Not-kes"

By creamtea
September 3, 2013
2 Comments


Author Notes: Not latkes, but full of flavor--these mashed-potato cakes are seasoned with cilantro, ginger, scallions and garlic. Mustard seeds add crunch. Add enough flour to bind, and fry until crispy. Use left-over mashed or baked potatoes. You will be rewarded at first bite. The first batch is a little tricky to flip, but subsequent batches will brown beautifully.

This recipe was inspired by Panfusine's delicious "ramp-tramp potatoes" (http://food52.com/recipes...), and anu's recipe for Poha with Potatoes and Peas (http://food52.com/recipes...)
creamtea

Makes: about 26 3-inch griddle cakes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced and mashed
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 small fresh hot red or green peppers, seeded, the ribs removed, minced
  • 4-5 scallions, minced (the white part and some of the green)
  • a pinches salt
  • 1/2 cup steamed fresh or frozen peas
  • 2-4 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, minced
  • 2 large russet potatoes, 11-14 oz. raw weight, baked and cooled (preferably day-old). You can also use left-over mashed potatoes
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, drained very well and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek or Bulgarian yogurt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour, or more or less, as needed to bind batter
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • safflower oil for frying
  • Plain yogurt and chipotle salsa or harissa thinned with lemon juice or other hot sauce as accompaniments
  • lime wedges as an accompaniment

Directions

  1. In a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, heat 2-3 tablespoons oil over a medium flame. Add mustard seeds and, when they begin to sizzle and pop, add garlic and ginger, shallot and red pepper. Adjust heat to medium-low, and saute until softened and fragrant; shallot should be just transparent and pepper brightly colored. Add scallion and the pinch of salt, saute until fragrant. Add peas, stir for just a few seconds until peas are warmed through, then remove from heat and add cilantro. Scrape mixture into a bowl and set aside to cool a little. Wipe out skillet with a paper towel.
  2. Scoop flesh from baked potatoes into a medium bowl and mash with a potato masher. Reserve the shell of the potato for another use (or brush with oil, season with salt, dried herbs, garlic powder, and hot red or regular ground black pepper and toast in the oven until crisp as a snack for the chef). Add quinoa--it must be very well drained or the pankcakes will fall-apart--yogurt and pea mixture to potatoes and fold in. Add salt and taste for seasoning, adding more salt as needed. Add eggs to potatoes and fold in. Add flour by tablespoons. Flour should bind the ingredients, so add more if needed; squeeze a small fistful until it sticks together to check. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in same skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking (toss in a tiny bit of potato mixture--it should sizzle). Fry in batches (do not crowd pan) forming mounds of about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of batter. Flatten gently and gracefully with back of spoon as if putting the dimples in cake frosting--the batter wants to stick. Saute until well-browned and crisp on edges, adjusting flame as needed--oil should bubble and sizzle actively at edges. Ease pancake turner under potato cake: if batter smooshes together, it is too soon and cakes will fall apart. Wait a minute or two until firm enough to flip, then turn in one fell swoop to brown second side (cakes will release when they are browned enough for flipping--I promise). Drain well on paper towels. Add oil to skillet as required between batches.
  3. Serve hot either plain with a lime wedge or with salsa, harissa or other favorite hot sauce, and plain yogurt as accompaniments.

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Reviews (2) Questions (0)

2 Comments

LE B. February 13, 2015
creamtea, I LOVE Indian-inspired pancakes and fritters, so I say Hoorah for You! on this one. I love your attention to textures with the mustard seeds and the quinoa. I DO wish this had been chosen as a finalist in the potato contest, as i think it's much more healthy and creative than what was chosen. But what really bothers me (unless there's some mechanical difficulty with the recipe) is that it was not chosen for ANY of the many contests it was entered in. Sigh. Well, I will certainly be making it, though I know i will probably substitute toordal for some of the green peas (i hate green peas!)so Thank You! One thought- there is a great Boston restaurant, Ribelle, that plays around with toasted red couscous as a texture component in sauteed kale and as a topping on various dishes....So i brought that up because you might consider adding a parenthesis ( "If your couscous is too wet, toast it over medium heat in a skillet until it dries out") to your directions. Thanks for an inspiring recipe,creamtea!
 
Author Comment
creamtea December 23, 2015
Thanks LBF. You're probably right about toasting the couscous, it should not be too damp; will experiment with your suggestion!