Monday, September 14, 2009

Veggie pancakes

If shredding soft chocolate didn't endear me to my food processor, these veggie pancakes most certainly did. My food processor is so totally awesome!!!! It rocks hard core to the EXTREME!!! The old one was so small I would have to empty the bowl several times before all the ingredients were shredded. The new machine was able to hold all the shredded veggies at once. Not having to disassemble and reassemble the processor multiple times sure cuts down on prep time. Plus, there was the added benefit that the machine actually shredded the veggies in nice neat strips. (Even raw sweet potato!!!!) Wait, a food processor is supposed to do that? oh. Guess that old one really did suck.

This recipe is both good and bad for you. It uses a fair amount of oil to fry up the pancakes, but you are getting your family to eat lots of veggies. Ya win some, ya lose some. I try to think of it as a stepping stone dish. If they like the pancakes then you can say, "Well you liked X ingredient in that dish, let's try it prepared a little differently." Most of the time this works with Blockette (and sometimes even with Mrblocko!).

I've found that frying up these pancakes goes much quicker if you use 2 pans. I'm not coordinated enough to watch 2 pans at the same time without burning the pancakes. This is one of those dishes I only make on the weekends when Mrblocko is around to be the sous chef. Another time saver is to use a large ice cream/cookie scoop to portion out the pancakes. A 1/4 cup measure works fine, but using a scooper speeds things up quite a bit.

The recipe link above includes a recipe for a dipping sauce. I've never made it before because I'm not super keen on curry. We eat ours smeared with butter or sour cream. Oh, and of course, with sausage on the side. We woudn't want to go crazy and eat a meal sans meat.

Veggie Pancakes from Smitten Kitchen Makes about 24 pancakes.
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 medium onion, peeled
1 large russet or Idaho potato, peeled
1 yam or sweet potato, peeled
1 large or 2 thin carrots, peeled
1 zucchini
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
A pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 200°F. Place two nonstick baking sheets in oven. In small saucepan, bring salted water to boil. Add peas and cook, uncovered, until heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain, then rinse in colander under cool, running water. Set aside in colander to drain completely. Using box grater or food processor fitted with grating disc, coarsely grate onion, potatoes, carrot and zucchini and place in colander set in sink, setting aside to drain. In large mixing bowl, lightly beat eggs. Whisk in flour, coriander, turmeric, and cumin. Mix in ginger, cilantro, and peas. Press potatoes and onion to extract as much liquid as possible, then add to bowl. Season mixture with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Using wooden spoon or hands, mix well, but do not overwork.In heavy-bottomed, 12" non-stick skillet over moderately high heat, heat 1-2 tablespoons oil til hot but not smoking. Drop 4 scant 1/4-c portions of potato mix into pan and flatten with spatula to form four 3-inch pancakes. Fry until bottoms are golden-brown (the color really counts on this; the darker you let it go, the more the pancake holds together – this goes for both sides.), 4-5 min, then turn over and fry until golden-brown and crisp, an additional 4-5 min. Transfer to paper towels to drain; season immediately with salt and pepper. Keep warm on baking sheets in oven while making remaining pancakes. Using paper towels, carefully wipe out pan. And 1 T oil to the pan and fry 4 more pancakes. Repeat with remaining batter, wiping out pan and adding 1 to 2 T oil before each batch.

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