Sunday, February 19, 2012

Spicy Potato Cake--From Poland

It is rather cold today and a good opportunity to share this recipe, perhaps the last one to do it this season. It has been sitting in my draft box since last year and I thought that if I do not post it now, I may forget about it altogether.

I do not make this dish too often maybe because it tastes best when the weather is really cold, almost freezing as it is right now in Europe. It was not something that I have learned at home but a friend introduced me to a potato cake during my university years. We baked it almost every Friday to celebrate the end of the week. All the ingredients even then were easily available. It was served with a sour cabbage (sauerkraut) salad and tasted best with beer.

On many international blogs I saw recipes for potato pancakes or latkes, but I have never seen a recipe for a potato cake (of this kind), so I thought that maybe this will be something original and someone will find it interesting.

This dish can be made vegetarian, but my favorite is with bacon. I hardly eat bacon, but in that particular dish I like it a lot and I think that this potato cake tastes better when bacon is added to it. Other important ingredients are the spices that enhance its taste--we use something which is called herbal pepper, or otherwise paprika, ground caraway seeds, coriander, and marjoram. I like the potato cake most when it is served with a sauerkraut salad.

Spicy Potato Cake

Serves four.
(For a 10" loaf pan)

2 lbs (about 4-5) large white potatoes,
1 large onion,
3 eggs,
1/2 lb (8 oz) lean smoked bacon,
1/4 cup fine corn flour plus extra 1 tbs,
1 tbsp dried marjoram,
1 tsp ground coriander,
1 tsp paprika,
1 tsp ground caraway seeds,
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg,
1 tsp black pepper,
1 tbsp salt.

1. Preheat oven to 370F.
2. Peel off potatoes and cut into medium cubs. Put them in a food processor, purée into a pulp, and transfer it to a large bowl.
3. Cut bacon into thin slices. Peel off onion and chop.
4. Preheat a frying pan. Fry bacon until it releases all the fat. Add onion and fry on a low heat until onion becomes transparent.
5. Drain onion and bacon from the fat and add to the potato pulp.
6. Beat in eggs and mix all the ingredients.
7. Add all the spices and mix well.

8. Grease a baking loaf pan with butter and dust with corn flour. Transfer the potato pulp into it and bake for an hour, until the top is set and gold.
9. Serve cut in slices and accompanied by pickles or sauerkraut salad.

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