I am so excited I can barely sit still. Nope, I have not got the lyrics to Gloria Gaynor's song all wrong. I am excited because come Monday, my partner in Kitchen crimes (and colleague) Marty and I will be catering our very first party. Yes, that's right. It's a small affair (just 12 peeps or so) and the menu isn't extensive but it's pretty decent for the spread we've thought up. Anyway, more details on the party next Tues -- IF it's success.
Planning the food, we kinda got carried away and had to restrain ourselves from preparing 100 dishes on our very meager budget. We decided on a broad Italian theme (broad because some dishes aren't truly Italian though I am sure you can find them in Italy!).
We divided the chores and decided who's cooking what. It's a cocktail style party so the food's mainly hors d'oeuvres and snacks. Marty's the more accomplished cook (she's really clever) and so I'm a little nervous. But, I've been practicing and experimenting like crazy -- boo hoo, Oh woe as I can feel my waistband expanding by the milisecond.
On the menu are potato pancakes. There are many variations to the pancakes all around the world. The Italians call theirs fricos and are parmesan crisps with potatos ; the swiss call them Rosti; the Yiddish call em Ludkes; the Germans call theirs Kartoffelpuffer and I just call em delicious tater cakes. They're kinda like has browns but better.
[caption id="attachment_535" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Potato cakes or lutkas for the Yiddish"][/caption]
They're really simple to make. All you need are some onions or leek, cooked in some butter until soft, some parmesan cheese (optional), potatoes (crucial) and salt and pepper. Grate the potatoes, squeeze em dry, season and then onto the skillet. I didn't believe Marty or cutie cook Mark Bittman who don't use flour or breadcrumbs or any ingredient to bind the potatoes. But it's true. You don't.
The cakes take about 12 mins to cook each side and when you remove them, it's best to drain them on paper towels to reduce the grease factor. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare and 15 and 20 minutes to cook. Minimal washing also. Sounds good, tastes even better.
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