Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cooking Notes

This post takes inspiration from former Milwaukee food blogger Haverchuk, who used to do roundups of cooking that hadn’t made it onto the blog that month, “like the deleted scenes on your DVDs.”

A few weeks ago I made draniki, Belarusian potato pancakes. These are a lot like latkes, but without the onion. You shred about 5 or 6 small peeled potatoes in a food processor; then add 2 tablespoons of flour, a beaten egg, salt and pepper. Be sure to salt the batter generously, or your pancakes will be bland.

Heat a glug of vegetable oil in a non-stick pan, and ladle ¼-cup scoops of batter into the pan. The pancakes should be 3 to 4 inches long, about 2 inches wide, and ¼-inch thin. When frying, you really have to generous with the oil, or the pancakes start burning. Fry for about 30 to 50 seconds, then flip and fry for another 30 seconds; repeat until both sides are golden-brown, about 2 minutes. These are pretty good with sour cream. Tip: Don’t make them on a weeknight when you really don’t feel like cleaning oil splatters off the stove, okay?

I tried these spinach-stuffed mushrooms at a New Year’s party, and have made them about four or five times since then. This is a Paula Deen recipe, and it’s really quite delicious. Unlike most of Deen’s repertoire, it doesn’t even call for five pounds of butter. I did make some tweaks to the original directions. Be sure to sauté the mushrooms caps for about 5 to 7 minutes before stuffing them, otherwise they don’t cook through. For the spinach filling, I subbed some homemade farmer's cheese for the feta. Ricotta would work, too.


postcollegecook said...

Those stuffed mushrooms look absolutely scrumptious.

Yelena said...

My husband's family is from Belarus and he makes draniki once in a while. I love them alongside some hot tea and lemon. Your post is making me crave some right now.

adele said...

Outtakes! Good idea. I may have to steal it. :)

Mrs. M. said...

Alison-Agreed! These are especially good if you use portabella mushrooms.

Yelena-This was the first time I made these, and they weren't quite successful. I try them again sometime.

Adele-I love the outtakes idea because I cook a lot of stuff that doesn't make it into the blog. Some of it isn't worth an entire post, but I like doing like blurbs.

Irina said...

This is exactly how I make latkes/draniki/deruny! I never use onions, just potatoes, flour, egg, salt and pepper. I missed making them for Hanukkah last year (I had two wisdom teeth extracted right before the holiday and had to eat soft stuff for the next week or two). I have another dental surgery scheduled next week - better make some draniki before then!

Lo said...

Love the idea of using portabellas for the stuffed mushroom recipe.

And, as for the outtakes, it's brilliant really. So much that we eat and cook falls to the wayside, but I think there are great stories in what we choose not to post!

Mrs. M. said...

Irina-Good luck with your surgery! I was really tempted to put onions in my draniki, but the traditional recipe from Belarus doesn't call for them.

Lo-I should have specified that Paula Deen's recipe called for portabellas. I think of outtakes as something between a full blog post and a tweet!

Jen said...

yum, i'm going to have to try those stuffed mushrooms! i love stuffed mushrooms, especially with horseradish sauce. and it was nice meeting you last night at soup night!

Mrs. M. said...

Hi Jen--Nice meeting you, too! Looking forward to reading your blog.

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