Thursday, March 10, 2011

Potato Cake (Vegan Latke)

Inspired by Co. Sligo native Denis S.M. Kelly's fried shredded potato dish. Try this dish from a Sligo Irishman, DSM Kelly. That man 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 is a mayonnaise-free slaw. 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.