Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Potato Savoury Rissoles

NAME: _Potato Savoury Rissoles

These are distant relatives of latkes. 

2 medium-large potatoes (See Method)
1 small brown onion
1 medium-large carrot
1 medium zucchini
50g cheddar cheese
1/2 cup plain flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground fenugreek seed
1 tsp assafoetida
1 tsp fine ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground turmeric (optional)
3 - 4 eggs
1/4 cup water
1 cup olive oil

Peel the potatoes and grate into the longest strips possible. Grate into a bowl lined with a clean teatowel, then use teatowel to wring as much liquid as possible out of the potato. If you want the potato starch that's dissolved in the liquid, catch the liquid in a large flat plate, cover with a teatowel and set aside to evaporate. (See Notes) The amount of grated squeezed potato should be between 2 and 3 cups. Place in a bowl large enough to hold all ingredients and still allow spoon or hand mixing. Now similarly grate the carrot and zucchini, but do not squeeze. (Carrot doesn't need it, and the zucchinin will lose texture. Cut the onion into similarly thin strips or half-rings and squeeze that out in teatowel, too. Add these vegetables to the potato, gently mix all together.

In a smaller bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and spices well. Take about four teaspoons of this seasoned flour one at a time, sprinkle over the grated vegetables and gentle spoon or hand mix each teaspoonful in before adding the next. At this stage grate the cheddar and mix it through the vegetables as well.

Now add three of the eggs to the remaining flour in the other bowl and whisk until well combined. Add the water. If the mix isn't a pourable batter, add the fourth egg. Pour the batter slowly over the grated vegetables and gentle spoon or hand mix, until the vegetables are well coated.

Use egg rings to fry a dollop of the vegetable mixture in a hot frypan of olive oil. Turn when the underside smells done (two - four minutes depending on your particular setup) and remove the egg rings. When each rissole is cooked, (another two - four minutes) lift it and drain on paper towel.

Serve hot, with your choice of sides. Can also be served cold but not as nice.

A LOT of liquid comes out of the grated potatoes. The reason we want to squeeze it out is that otherwise the liquid will make the rissoles soft and sloppy. The starch (if you kept it from previous potato recipes) is okay to add back if you have some, but the water is definitely not needed. Keeping the starch is a good idea beacuse it's useful for other recipes such as (well, this one,) or carbonara, or in bread, and a few more. To save the starch, you need to let this dry out at room temperature and in the dark, because otherwise the starch will blacken. To aid in drying, the more surface area, the better, hence use a wide and relatively flat plate. To keep dark, cover with a teatowel. To keep the teatowel from falling in the liquid, use small spacers to keep it off the surface of the liquid, I use baking weights and old bottle caps, whatever comes to hand and that I can brush any adhering starch off afterwards. I've also laid a cake rack over and laid the teatowel over that - whatever works for you.

There are several things you can do with this mixture, actually. Proceed as above for rissoles with crispy browned exteriors and soft insides. For a thinner crispy latkes-like effect, reduce the number of eggs to two, add more water to make up, and barely moisten the floured vegetables with this batter, then spoon directly into pan and flatten with the egg slice or spatula, allow to become definitely browned and preferably almost over-cooked before lifting out and draining.

The dredging of the grated vegetables in the flour is one of the secrets - it allows the batter to really cling.

When spooning mixture into the pan, be aware that some liquid will always pool in the bowl, your call if you mix this back before spooning or just use whatever clings to the mixture. Recombining produces a slightly heavier more flavourful rissole, using the drained mixture results in a lighter rissole that will take on more crispiness.


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