Mini Potato Pancakes With Beet Salad and Sour Cream
- Servings: 4.
This assembly of flavors makes an ideal starter to a special dinner. Mini potato pancakes are served alongside a slightly tangy beet salad topped with a little scoop of salmon roe and a daub of sour cream.
Because the flavors are rich and complex, this is excellent to serve before a lighter main course. The beet salad can be made up to a day in advance but the little potato pancakes should be fried as close to serving as possible to make sure that the surface is crispy and the interior tender and hot.
You can make a variation of this combination by using sweet potatoes for the pancakes and golden beets for the salad.
- 4 to 5 smaller or 3 to 4 medium red beets (enough to make about 4 cups when cut into 1/2-inch dice)
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (yes, this ratio of vinegar-to-oil is the reverse of most dressings but the beets are sweet and benefit from the extra vinegar)
- 2 russet (baking) potatoes, peeled
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 egg, lightly combined
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons canola or peanut oil (more if cooking the pancakes in batches)
- 1 4 oz. jar salmon roe
- 1 cup reduced fat sour cream
- 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
- Making the Beet Salad:
- Trim the beets of any long stems or roots and wash in cool water. Leave unpeeled.
- Place the beets in a large saucepan of boiling water and cook, uncovered, at a gentle boil for about 45 minutes. You may need to add more water along the way if enough boils off so that the beets are no longer fully submerged. Test for doneness with a sharp knife.
- Drain and when cool enough to handle, using a paring knife and paper towel, slip off the skins.
- Cut the beets into 1/2-inch dice. While still warm, sprinkle with the red wine vinegar and toss to coat. When the vinegar has been absorbed, add the olive oil plus a pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper.
- Refrigerate in a covered container until ready to assemble the salad.
- Making the Mini Potato Pancakes:
- Using the large holes on a grater, grate the potatoes onto a meticulously clean kitchen towel. When all the potato is grated, wrap the towel around the pieces holding the towel over the sink, wring out any excess liquid.
- Place the potato pieces into a mixing bowl and add the flour, egg, salt and pepper. Combine completely.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat until the surface shimmers.
- Using a soup or tablespoon, scoop small amounts of the potato mixture into the pan, smoothing the mixture into at least 8 little (about 2-inch) patties. If your pan isn't large enough to cook the pancakes all at once, do them in batches, keeping the first batch warm in a 200° F oven. Add more oil to the pan if necessary for each batch. Cook about 2 minutes per side, until the surfaces are brown and crispy and the insides are tender and cooked through.
- Transfer to a paper towel and serve immediately.
- Assembling the Salad:
- Remove the beet salad from the refrigerator and toss to make sure any oil and vinegar that has settled to the bottom of the container again coats the beets.
- Fry the mini potato pancakes.
- On individual serving plates place 2 pancakes, a heap of about 1 cup of beet salad, a spoonful of salmon roe and another of sour cream.
- Sprinkle pieces of fresh chives over the plate.
- Serve immediately.