Thursday, September 1, 2011

Leek, Potato and Zucchini Cakes

A huge thank you to Marc and Elysabeth of Saucy and Bossy for posting this recipe from All Things Simple. I absolutely adore leeks and am always on the prowl to find new ways to prepare this subtly onion-flavored stalk. While the recipe may be time consuming for those in a week night bind, I found this to be an easy recipe to intersperse with a vain attempt to regain control of my kitchen.

The cakes were done long before the kitchen was re-ordered.

adapted from Marc's post at Saucy and Bossy

makes 6-8 cakes

The Ingredients:
1 medium russet potato
3 leeks
1 cup zucchini, washed and grated
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
pinch cayenne pepper
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

The Process:
Clean and pierce potato with a fork a few times, and cook in the microwave for 4-5 minutes or until tender. Alternatively, bake an oven set to 350 for 25-30 minutes or until soft but still firm. Set aside to cool.

Remove the outer leaves, and cut off the dark green portion and roots of the leeks. Slice lengthwise and rinse under cold running water or submerge in a basin of water to remove any dirt or grit. Slice thinly, crosswise to the stalk. Blanch leeks in a large pot of boiling salty water for 4-5 minutes then drain in colander and immediately rinse in cold water. Add zucchini and add salt to extract moisture for 10-15 minutes.

While greens are draining, peel potato and grate on a box grater. Combine with egg, flour, cayenne, Parmesan, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl.

Squeeze remaining moisture from the zucchini leek mixture and add the greens to the large bowl. Mix well.

Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until almost shimmering. Fry cakes, 4-5 minutes a side, until golden brown. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, and hot sauce as desired.

The Review:
These are an amazing twist on the classic potato pancake. The pre-cooked potato combined with egg and flour provides an wonderfully creamy base for the texture and mild onion flavor of the leeks. Just enough seasoning is added to enhance the flavors without overpowering them. And the cayenne or dash of Sriracha on the side provides just enough interest and heat for those that may otherwise find these hearty veggie patties a bit bland.

I found two cakes to be a perfect accompaniment or side dish to a hearty protein, however they are filling enough to stand on their own as a vegetarian entree. Made smaller and served at room temperature these may be a hit as an appetizer as well. I will be adding these to our regular rotation.

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