It was cold and damp out and I thought soup and potato pancakes (latkes) were perfect for a luncheon I was preparing for a friend. It wasn’t my original menu but the luncheon got rescheduled for the next day and the main course had been marinated from the night before, so the husband and I ate it for dinner the night prior.
The soup was what my mother used to call a sweet and sour cabbage soup and she always served potato pancakes with it. I hadn’t made it in a very long time and my pre-Hanukah potato latke craving was kicking in. My friend, Monyka, is an adventurous eater so I didn’t worry. We ended up eating 2 bowls of soup and wiping out all the potato pancakes.
Desserts were cranberry/pistachio biscotti, chocolate ginger biscotti (Click HERE for the recipe) and orange cranberry muffins.
Potato Pancakes (yield 8 to 14 pancakes)
2 baking potatoes, peeled
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
1 large egg
1 tablespoon flour
Kosher salt – to taste
Fresh ground black or white pepper to taste
Canola oil or melted rendered chicken fat
Food processor with grating blade & regular or box grater-large holes
Fine mesh strainer or tea towel
1 large bowl
Pancake griddle or fry pan
½ sheet pan or cookie sheet
I personally use the food processor with the grater blade to do the potatoes and then put in the regular blade and add back the grated potatoes with the quartered onion and process into smaller pieces.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees or warm.
Once the potatoes and onions are processed I add the mixture to a mesh strainer over a bowl to let the excess liquid drain out. If you don’t have a fine mesh strainer then put the potato/onion mixture in a tea towel and twist it real tight over the sink to help get rid of the excess water content. If you are using a fine mesh strainer you will see liquid in the bowl but a pasty white substance at the bottom. That is starch so I add that back after I drain off the liquid.
I have the potato/onion mixture in a large bowl I then add a generous portion of kosher salt and grind or two of pepper, the egg and 1 tablespoon of flour and mix well.
I have a griddle pan that goes over two burners so I turn on my burners to medium high and let that preheat a little while. I had some melted rendered chicken fat (most of you won’t) but it is an indulgence once a year. I use a pastry brush to coat the griddle top and proceed to make the pancakes.
Once I finish a batch of potato pancakes I put them on the ½ sheet pan and put them in the oven to stay warm. You can use a fry pan, with a small coating of oil and fry the pancakes.
I am a potato pancake purist; I just add salt – no applesauce, sour cream or ketchup when I eat them.
This is the ideal soup for a cold, damp, chilly day. It will warm you through and through down to your toenails. Monyka and I had two bowls and polished of a good number of potato pancakes
Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup serves 6 to 8
I am going to give you the short version of this recipe. Tell you I used my pressure cooker to speed up the time. I didn’t measure a thing so these are estimates. I used my homemade chicken stock.
Oil to coat stock pot, dutch oven or pressure cooker bottom
1 package of flanken (cut of beef) or Korean cut beef ribs
(approximately ½ pound to ¾ pound)
Salt and pepper
1 onion, peeled and rough dice
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of salt
½ small can of sauerkraut
3 plum tomatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon sugar
8 cups chicken or beef stock (homemade preferably – less sodium)
5 to 6 quart pot or large pressure cooker w/lid
Season the meat with salt and pepper to taste
Heat your pot to medium high to high heat, add the oil and then the flanken or Korean cut beef ribs and brown them on both sides. You will probably be doing this in batches so once brown remove to a plate and let the natural juices accumulate.
Add the onions, carrots, shredded cabbage, garlic and salt, stir and cook until the onion and cabbage start to soften.
Add the ½ can of sauerkraut, tomatoes and stock and bring to a simmer and let cook covered for about 1½ hours at a low simmer. If you know how to work with a pressure cooker, cook for 30 minutes.
As the soup cools, taste it for additional seasoning.
If there is soup leftover, this freezes very well.
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