Thursday, March 10, 2011

Potato Cake (Irish Latke)

Inspired by Co. Sligo native Denis S.M. Kelly's fried shredded potato dish.  Kelly loved his 'taters. He would hold a hot baked potato in one hand and a stick of cold butter in the other, and with alternate bites, consume them both, with great noisy relish. I miss the lad. Recorded March 11, 2011. By adding a small amount of oil to the potato mixture, the richness is increased without too much fat. The dry onions absorb some of the moisture and flour the rest.
1 small russet potato, skin on
1 T canola oil, divided
1 T dry minced onion
1/2 t flour
salt and pepper to taste
Grate the potato through the large holes of a modified box grater (see Note). In a small bowl, combine with 2 t oil, the dried onions, flour and seasonings. Heat 1 t oil in an 8-inch skillet over medium-high, and then add the potato mixture as a patty about 4 inches across. Press to firm with a spatula. Turn after it's nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Continue frying until the second side is browned. Serves 1 or 2 as a side dish.
Hint: Alton Brown, Food Network personality, revealed that short-order cooks use a needle-nose pliers to bend the cutters of a grater outward to increase the size of the potato pieces it produces. Being thicker, they retain more moisture.

Cabbage Salad (Cole Slaw)

This slaw is almost mayonnaise free. This oil and vinegar recipe has been a family favorite for decades, even for kids (and their parents) that hate cole slaw. Rant: Who wouldn't hate the usual sweet, oily product?
2 c green or red cabbage, cored and finely shredded
scant 1/4 c O-T-C dressing
With a mandolin set to 1/8 inch, or a very sharp knife, finely shred the cabbage. Alternatively, use 2 cups of commercially-prepared "angel hair" cabbage. Transfer to a bowl.  Add the dressing in small amounts, tossing after each addition, until the cabbage is uniformly and lightly dressed. Chill and serve. Serves 3 to 4. Makes a nice topping for a BBQ sandwich.