Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Turnip Potato Scallion Pancakes

This week's turnips seemed like a bigger challenge this week. Last week I was lazy and just roasted them. Could I do something more creative this week with a bigger bunch to tackle? I decided there must be a way to make something like a cross between a potato pancake and a scallion pancake that would be delicious. In college one summer I worked at a Chinese restaurant and I remember loving the scallion pancakes and their soy dipping sauce. I tried to re-create those flavors, incorporating turnips, spring onions and zucchini from the share with the addition of potatoes and some other ingredients. An on-the-fly dipping sauce turned out pretty well. My husband and neighbors all gave it a thumbs up--so I hope you try it too!

I started with a recipe from Gourmet I found online, doubled it, and improvised from there.

Turnip and Potato Patties Recipe

1 pound turnips, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 2 2/3 cups or 5 medium-sized turnips)
12 oz potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 2 cups or 3 medium-sized potatoes)
1 small yellow zucchini cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup of water from boiled vegetables
4 spring onions, top part halved and diced along with tops finely diced (like scallions)
2 eggs, beaten lightly
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
Vegetable/canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1) In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the turnip and potato cubes for 8 minutes, then add the zucchini and cook for another 7 minutes until all vegetables are tender but not mushy, and drain them. In a bowl, mash them with a fork and stir in the scallions, the egg, flour, and salt and pepper to taste. Alternatively, you can add 1/2 cup of water from boiling the vegetables and blend with an immersion blender.

2) Coat the bottom of a large, heavy bottomed skillet with about 1/4-inch of the oil. Heat the pan on medium to medium-high heat until the surface of the oil begins to shimmer, but not smoke. Spoon approximately 1 T. mounds of the turnip potato batter into the pan, flattening them into 1/4-inch thick patties with the back of a spatula. Fry the patties until they are golden, turning them once, about 3-4 minutes on each side. (Don't futz with them or they will break apart when you turn them--just touch them once when you are flipping and they have hardened into a pancake shape.) Transfer the patties to paper towels to drain off excess oil. Makes 15-20 smaller-sized patties. Four to five patties are a serving for a main dish, two for an appetizer.

Dipping Sauce
Combine the following ingredients in a small bowl.
3 T. light soy sauce
2 T. dark soy sauce
2 T. scallions (or tops of spring onions)
2 cloves of shredded garlic
1 T. shredded ginger
4 T. vegetable oil
1 t. agave nectar
1/2 t. spicy black bean sauce
Mix thoroughly. You might have to re-mix before serving as the oil separates from the rest of the ingredients easily.

I served these pancakes with a green salad, using lettuce, shredded zucchini and spring onions from the share, along with carrots and a homemade dressing. It made me feel a little better eating a salad with such a delicious fried main dish!

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