Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Potato pancakes with chanterelles sauce

Serves 4


For about 20 potato pancakes
1.2 kg potatoes, peeled and washed
2 onions, peeled and washed
2 eggs
2 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper
100 to 150 ml vegetable oil

For chanterelles sauce
500 g fresh chanterelles
2 onions, peeled, washed and finely chopped
3 tablespoons butter
200 ml sour cream
Salt and pepper
1 bunch fresh parsley, washed, dried and finely chopped

Firstly, prepare the chanterelles sauce.
Delicately clean mushrooms from leftovers of the forest.
Scratch the stems to remove soil.
Rinse the mushrooms delicately under cold water.
Cut some mushrooms in halves, should some of them be too big.
They all should be about the same size, so they will fry evenly.
In a hot frying pan, melt butter, add onions and cook on a medium flame for 10 minutes.
Do not let onions burn.
Add mushrooms into the frying pan and sauter them on a medium flame until they release their juices and absorb them back in.
Salt and pepper generously, stir and add the cream. Put aside.

While mushrooms are cooking, prepare your potato pancakes.
Preheat the oven to medium heat.
Grate potatoes and onions finely.
Squeeze the mixture and remove any excess of water.
Add eggs, salt, pepper and flour.
Mix well until the mixture gets homogenous.
In a hot frying pan, heat the oil well. 
Using a tablespoon, drop a spoonful of potato mixture in the hot frying pan and form a flat pancake of around 6 cm large and about 1/2 centimeter thick.
Fry until the first side gets slightly brown, flip the pancake and fry the opposite side in the same manner.
Remove fried pancakes from the pan and place them on a paper towel to absorb excess of grease.
Repeat operation for the remaining potato mixture.
Once all pancakes are ready, place them on a baking sheet and put in the oven to keep them hot.
In the meantime, heat the chanterelles sauce.
Serve 4 or 5 pancakes per person on warm plates, with the sauce on the side.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley and freshly pepper.

You may want to prepare the sauce with other forest mushrooms, like ceps or bolets.
You can also use frozen mushrooms; in that case they will require more cooking if you start cooking them while still frozen. 
You may also add fresh or dry thyme, marjoram leaves, or any of your favorite herb to the potato mixture.

Potato pancakes are one of my favorite dishes from childhood. They find their origin in poor peasant cooking. Not so long ago, only bad quality or even rotten potatoes were often used for this dish.
Potato pancakes may be topped with a variety of condiments, ranging from savory (such as sour cream) to sweet (such as sugar or jam), or they may be served just plain.
My favorite version is served with a fresh forest mushroom sauce.
I do not like potato pancakes sprinkled with sugar.
Usually potatoes are grated very finely. I prefer them when they are grated on the medium grade of the grater. This makes them crispier. 
In Poland, you can find potato pancakes in nearly every fast restaurant serving traditional Polish food, but quite often they may be fried in used oil, so they will not be as tasty. Furthermore, in many quick restaurants potato flour may be also added, so the pancakes texture is gluey, instead of crispy.
You can complement this dish by adding some grated zucchini and some grated hard cheese (for example oscypek - more detail about oscypek HERE), or even some bryndza cheese.


Karolina said...

Brilliant! :) Love the plate. :)

Magdalena said...

thanks..me too..!

Szalony Kucharz said...


As a child I'd always eat these sprinkled with sugar and drowning in cream, either sour or "sweet". But I've grown out of it lately. Sometimes, I'd add a fistful (or half of that) of poppy seeds to the batter, for that extra crunch and Easter(n) aroma.

Slightly off-topic: My grandma from Poznań calls these "plyndze", which is derived from German "plinse", which in turn comes from the East-Slavic word for pancakes: "bliny". A classic example of word re-borrowing, just like "budget" in French. As if the history of Central and East Europe wasn't turmoiled enough already...

Magdalena said...

I remember potato pancakes sprinkled with sugar, but I never enjoyed them that way, as I did not like sweets when I was a kid :)
It is true that in Poznań – in the west of Poland, those pancakes are called “plyndze”.
I’ve heard that they add mashed garlic as well.
Is that true ?
Thanks for your feedback.

Szalony Kucharz said...

Garlic? Only if they could afford such luxury. ;o) The stinginess of people from Poznań by far surpasses that of Krakauers.

Jokes aside, I don't know. My grandma never did that, neither did my mom. But that might be only because we (me and my sis) weren't very fond of garlic as kids.

Magdalena said...

thanks, kucharz...for your comments about stingy people from Krakow area :D

Gloria said...

Hello, Magdalena! My mother was Polish and I remember fondly all of the polish dishes that she and her sisters made: potato pancakes (nice, soft ones, as yours look--not like traditional latkes), Kielbasi and Sauerkraut/Kapusta, Golumki (spelling??!!), etc. I have a question: do you have a really good, old fashioned recipe for kapusta (spelling?) -- my mother's neighbor (also Polish) had a FANTASTIC recipe for this, and she'd never give my mother the recipe! The sauerkraut was so soft and dark in color and was so delicious. Have you ever had that version? Thanks!
Best regards,

Gloria said...

P.S. I just became a Follower! :)

Magdalena said...

Hello Gloria!
I am very glad that you found my blog and left such a warm comment.
As regards the dish you are asking for, I think you mention BIGOS (hunter's stew - sauerkraut with meat and kielbasa, cooked for a longtime). I have a good recipe for Bigos and I will send it to you within a few minutes.
GOLUMKI - I think you mean GOŁĄBKI - cabbage rolls stuffed with rice/barley or meat. I have a recipe, too.
Take care!

.rar said...

Thanks for this post. I visited Kraków last month and had this exact dish. It looked identical and I am still having dreams about it. I love the fall vibes and the cozyness of it!
Thanks so much for sharing, I am craving it so badly now Im going to have to make it very soon. My mom also tasted my dish and saw this recipe and is in the midst of a chantarelle hunt!
Best regards,

Magdalena said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and that is great that you enjoyed potato pancakes in Krakow !
How come you visited Krakow?
I hope that I will come back to blogging in coming days - I was awfully busy for past few weeks :)
Kind regards!

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