Thursday, December 01, 2005

last night I had my good friend Andy over to sample some chenin blanc, and some of the goodies i was thinking of making for an upcoming holiday soiree. a few weeks ago, The Boston Globe Magazine had a "Party Perfect" feature focused on a man in the South End who threw an amazing party for his friends, and served amazing food and decorated his apartment, well, amazingly.

anyway, the Magazine included the recipes for the dishes he served and one of them in particular, the Mini Sweet Potato Pancakes, sounded so delicious that I had to try them out. They ended up being easy to make AND tasted as delicious as they sounded. I like them because you can play around with the spice amounts and completely change the taste of the pancake. I think the sour cream + red onion is definitely a great , crisp, compliment to the soft, subtlety of the potato.

MINI SWEET POTATO PANCAKES
SERVES 12

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground cloves
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Canola oil (for frying)
1/2 pint sour cream
1/4 red onion, finely chopped

Set a vegetable steamer in a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add several inches of water and bring it to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes and cover the pan. Steam the potatoes over high heat for 15 minutes or until they are tender when pierced with a skewer. Remove the potatoes from the pan and set them aside
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, mash them in a large shallow bowl with the yellow onion and eggs. Stir in the flour, baking powder, cumin, allspice, cayenne, cloves, salt, and black pepper.

Heat a large, nonstick skillet and barely coat the pan with oil. When the oil is hot, use a tablespoon to spoon the batter into the pan. It will not spread much. Cook the pancakes over medium-high heat for a few minutes on a side or until they are golden brown and crisp. Transfer the pancakes to a plate lined with paper towels. Blot off any excess oil.

Continue to fry the batter until it is all used, adding more oil to the pan, sparingly, when necessary. Arrange the pancakes on a large platter, add a tiny dollop of sour cream to each one and sprinkle with red onion.

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