Friday, May 18, 2012

The Parmesan Potato Pancake that Could Have Been

So in case you couldn't tell by the above picture, this recipe did not go exactly as planned. I was making a chicken breast entree for dinner, and I decided that a parmesan potato pancake sounded like a delicious side. The preparation was a bit of a pain, but nothing difficult. I was somewhat apprehensive of the "simply cover the pan with a plate and slide the pancake off, flip it over and voila!" vibe I was getting from the directions on the Food Network site, but I decided to shrug off my fears and go with the flow. I mean, how hard could it be to turn a pancake over? As it turns out, very hard. My fears were not unfounded. I'm still not 100% sure what I did wrong, but this pancake was STUCK to the bottom of my frying pan. As in, I wasn't even sure I could scrape the potato mixture off. By the time the stupid thing finished cooking, I was in the pissiest of moods and was debating whether or not I should even post this recipe. In the end I decided to anyway, because a) even though the potato pancake was ugly, it still tasted good, and b) I've posted many recipes here with less than "pretty" pictures. Even though Giada only uses 3 tablespoons of olive oil, I don't think that's enough, and if I had to guess I'd say that's partially why the pancake was completely and utterly stuck to the pan. Don't go overboard with the oil, but use a little bit more.
Source: Food Network

Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Directions:

1. Warm the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12-inch diameter) nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.
2. Add the garlic and cook until tender and fragrant, about another 2 minutes. Season the onion mixture with salt and pepper.
3. Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl and set aside. Reserve the pan.

4. Meanwhile, grate the potatoes in a food processor using the grating attachment blade. Use a kitchen towel to help squeeze out the water from the grated potatoes.
5.  Add the potatoes to the bowl with the onion mixture. Add the Parmesan and the basil. Stir to combine and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

6. Warm the remaining olive oil over high heat in the same pan that was used to cook the onions. When the pan is hot, but not smoking add the potato mixture. Use a spatula to press the mixture down into the pan firmly and evenly.
7. Turn the heat down to medium and cook the potato mixture until the bottom is golden brown and the pancake can move in the pan, about 12 to 15 minutes.

8. Turn the heat down to medium-low if the pancake is browning too fast in places. Place a large plate on top of the pancake and flip the pancake out of the pan. (This is where it all went very, very wrong!). Turn the heat on the pan back up to high. When the pan is hot slide the pancake back into the pan and cook until the bottom is golden and is cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes.

9. Slide the pancake onto a serving platter, slice, and serve.

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