Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Boxty and Latkes - Outdoor Wednesday



Parade to welcome Sinterklaas on December 6th




Latkes - Potato Pancakes



Boxty - Irish Potato Cakes




The winter solstice is nearly here and since recorded time we've tried to beat back its darkness with celebrations of light and fire. We adorn our trees and windows with lights and flickering tapers fill our homes with an artificial warmth and glow. The Jewish Festival of Lights, Hanukkah, begins next week and I realized I had posted no recipes for those who enjoy this wonderful celebration. I don't have many, but the ones I do have should be shared with others. My plan was to post recipes for latkes and tzimmes. Then, in what my Mother would call a flight of fancy, I started thinking of my paternal grandmother. Grandma Maude was Irish and more Catholic than the pope. I've mentioned in other posts that she spent her year traveling to the homes of her many children. She managed to rotate the dates so we all got to enjoy her company for one holiday or another. Well, today, in the middle of solstice preparations, memories of Lent with Grandma Maude came flowing back. Very old school, she was into what we, years ago, called the Black Fast. The particulars of that practice are best left to those of us who lived through it, but memories of Maude and days of fast and abstinence were triggered by, of all things, latkes. Grandma Maude had a very Irish recipe that she was convinced would carry the most egregious heathen through the Lenten season. Her weapon was boxty, an Irish potato cake that is far more dense than a latke. I'll tell you up front that it is delicious, but the only thing it has in common with a latke is its main ingredient, the potato. I learned to make latkes in the German and Scandinavian kitchens of my childhood. The goal was always a lacy, thin creation that when held to the air would allow the passage of light and not bend. Sounds easy, but it's not. My knuckles were regularly rapped until I perfected the technique. Maude's pancakes were thick and heavy and more likely to break a toe than emit light. The thing was, they were delicious and as good in their own way as those made by Hannie or Mrs. P. So, I decided to postpone the tzimmes and share both pancake recipes with you today. Here they are. Heritage demands the boxty come first.


Boxty - Irish Potato Cakes...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
1 cup unseasoned mashed potatoes
1 cup peeled and grated raw potatoes
2 cups self-rising flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
2 to 4 tablespoons butter
1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Sour Cream

Directions:
1 ) Combine mashed and raw grated potatoes in a medium bowl. Mix well. Stir in flour and salt with a wooden spoon. Stir in buttermilk. Mixture should resemble a light bread dough.
2) Heat 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet. When mixture is sizzling, drop batter by 1/4 cup measures into pan. Working in two batches, brown cakes, about 4 minutes per side, until they are a rich golden brown. Serve hot with additional melted butter and sour cream. Yield: 12 potato cakes.

Latkes - Potato Pancakes

Ingredients:

2 cups peeled and grated russet or Idaho potatoes
1 small yellow onion, peeled and grated
1 large, egg beaten
3 tablespoons self-rising flour
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper
2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying
Garnish:
Sour cream
Applesauce

Directions:
1) Squeeze as much water as possible from grated potatoes. Toss in a large bowl with grated onion. Add egg, flour, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.
2) Heat oil in a large saute pan set over medium-high heat. Drop mounds of potato mixture into oil and pat to a thin circle. Cook, about 4 minutes per side, until golden brown. Serve hot with sour cream or applesauce. Yield: 12 pancakes.

This is being linked to:
Outdoor Wednesday - A Southern Daydreamer

66 comments:

Vanessa said...

Oh! Everytime I see you blog banner, makes me hungry! I can even taste those pepers... These cakes look delicious as well! Have a great day! Vanessa

Carolyn Ford said...

I am starving! And, those look fabulously delicious!

Debinhawaii said...

Both potato cakes look delicious--I love latkes and now I want to try a boxty. Fun!

bfurry said...

Potato Pancakes are amazing...thanks for the recipe!

Bellini Valli said...

Thanks for the reminder about boxty. I also make 'tattie scones or Irish farls which are also made with potato and very good for breakfast.Our grandma would be bursting with pride.

Barbara said...

The recipes sound good and I am sure they are. I always marvel at the variety of ones you post. I am on a diet now, but I have saved several I hope to try one day.
Barbara

Martha said...

Growing up, potato pancakes were always made with leftover mashed potatoes -- and eaten for breakfast! They are delicious!

KathyB. said...

I love the line.."here they are, heritage demands boxty comes first.."you do make them sound very good and on these cold, cold days ,filling enough to hold one over all day while working in this cold.

I very much appreciate the history and stories behind your recipes.

Lynda said...

What lovely recipes, Mary - and as usual, your photo's are an absolute delight ! I love the garnish/topping for the potato pancakes ....

Hootin' Anni said...

My mom used to make potato pancakes all the time....and I loved 'em!!

That photo of Sinterklass is outstanding Mary!!!!

My Wednesday post is published. Do come by if you get a chance...it's all Gulf Waters today. Found HERE

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

It must be spud day!
I have always wanted to try latkes. Yours look wonderful!

Joyce said...

Your story of your GM being "mopre Catholic then the Pope" made me laugh out loud. I can understand that statement. Now the latkes are light and airy but I have never heard of the Irish version but had to laugh when you said they were heavier in texture as I always think Irish cooking is heavy (well at my Dad's family it was). thanks for sharing the recipes. I need homemade applesauce with my lates and some sour cream too. Yum!
Joyce

George Gaston said...

Mary, ‘tis the season and your post about the various celebrations of light, brings it all together. How the different cultures have unique yet similar dishes. Don’t think I have ever had Boxty - Irish Potato Cakes. I’ll have to dry these. Thanks

Di said...

Potato pancakes, oh my. Mary, that was the way we used leftover mashed potatoes: an egg, little flour, salt and pepper. My grandmother used to do something similar to the Latkes with the grated potatoes (no nutmeg), and another dish (but only for special occasions because it took so much time) the grated potatoes were baked with chicken and bacon fat! So that's what is wrong with my legs. ;)

Cathy said...

Those latkes are making my mouth water, Mary. Our freezing cold weather makes these stick to the ribs recipes so appealing. Looks like we've set a low temperature record today.

A Year on the Grill said...

Latka's are my Christmas morning meal. Has been for years. I have never heard the see through lattice goal. Mine has more egg, and more flour, so it comes out more cakey.

WONDERFUL photos

SmilingSally said...

Oh, Mary, you've made me so hungry for potatoes!

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut said...

I've helped grate the potatoes for latkes many times, but my friend's mother and aunts always did the rest. I do love them and should make them myself one day.

But I know I need to try your Boxty recipe in honor of my Irish heritage, it would make my grandmother proud.

My Little Space said...

Gosh, these look so scrumptious! Just imagine it with some nice sauce... drooling!

storyteller said...

How DELICIOUS these holiday treats look! Methinks it's time for ME to stop blogging and fix something to eat ;-)
Hugs and blessings,
Sacred Ruminations

luna miranda said...

these are making me hungry--for a midnight snack! argggh!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

I've never known the Irish had potato pancakes. I don't know why when of course, they would! I like the combo of mashed and raw potatoes.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Mary, I am starving! It's past noon, and I haven't had breakfast, much less lunch, yet. Maybe I can have it vicarously through reading your blog. Do you think?

Happy Outdoor Wed!

XO,

Sheila :-)

theUngourmet said...

Wow the making of Latkes sounds like very serious business. They look like they are worth the effort. Delicious!

Hope you are keeping warm!

Neel | Learn Food Photography said...

The photograph of stacked cakes with whipped cream (?) and cilantro (?) on top of the cakes is wonderful. I think stacking is a great technique widely used in photographing food.

Lenore said...

Oh, Mary, that story about your grandmother is so precious and you are a gifted story teller!
Love the latkes....I'm of German heritage also and my mother made them mouth watering!...I've made them a few times and they were good but not like my mother's.
Wanted to become a follower but don't see where on your site to do that.

Mary said...

Leonore, it is just to the right of the Latkes. I do hope you join us.

Maria said...

We love making latkes! Great post!

Two Peas and Their Pod moved to WordPress, please update your readers, etc. Our address is: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com Come visit us and check out our new look! Thanks for following us!

Claudia said...

Aren't potatoes just wonderful? I am partial to latkes. You are making me want some right now.

hip chick said...

I love that this Boxty could send a heathen into heaven! It sounds like she and my nana would get along just fine!

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Miss Mary-- thanks so much for stopping at my blog-- I love your sweet comments as you always brighten my day.

Ummm I am on a carb free world right now... i know *sigh* its tough seeing your wonderful temptations.

Enjoy the season dear one.

Claudia ♥ ♥

bj said...

I love potato pancakes and potato bread...well, I suppose I like anything made with potatoes!!:)
Thanks for sharing the recipes...

Beverly said...

Mary, I love latkes and sour cream, and these look delicious. They are perfect to me on cold days.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Mary,
This is such a cool post! My hubby loves potato pancakes and this recipe is one I will try! Love the pic of Santa, he looks so regal! Cindy

The Blonde Duck said...

I've never heard of boxtys, but I want to try them!

eileeninmd said...

I love the photo of Sinterklaas. Your Latkes and Boxty look delicious, hubby would love all these potatoes recipes. He has been cooking lately I will give him the recipes.

LV said...

It is so hard to see all your goodies and cannot have them. I know there is nothing you cannot fix that would be out of this world.

Atticmag said...

I've never heard of boxty but they look absolutely amazing and I'm definitely copying the recipe to try. Thanks for stopping by to take our walking tour. Happy holidays (as she goes off to copy and paste...) -- Jane F.

Di said...

Mary, hi again. Hope you don't mind, but I referenced your blog on a Guacamole post today. Have a wonderful evening.

ButterYum said...

I could eat a platter of Latkes. They are so delicious!!!

I love that you always remind me of the forgotten classics.

:)
ButterYum

sherri@lavenderfields said...

Thank you for this recipe. I have never made Latkes before. We were just talking about them the other day at work! They look so wonderful! Hope you are having a great Wednesday and that you enjoy the rest of your week! Sherri : )

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Wow, both of the potato dishes look amazing! I could go for some of each right now! Happy Solstice!

Selba said...

Both of potato recipes are wonderful!

Susan C said...

My grandmother often made the "Irish pancakes." I didn't know they were called boxties.

Every year I tell myself that I don't have to wait to be invited to a Hanukkah party to eat latkes, but I still haven't made them yet.

JLS Hall (Joysweb) said...

Both those recipes sound delicious! (As always!) Never heard of "Boxty" before, but I've tried many times to make a decent potato pancake, and failed miserably every time. Guess I needed someone to rap my knuckles for me when I was trying to learn! Thanks for another great (and informative) post.

Hood Photo Blog said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting. I love being visited by other Oregonians, as I think you are from your links. Your blog is yummy!!!

La Table De Nana said...

Oh lala he stood out at FWS..and here w/the pancakes and latkes and story:)

Moreso...

Stine in Ontario said...

I copied your latkes reciop as they sound absolutely scrumptious! Thanks so much!

Allie said...

I grew up eating latkes, but have never had boxty before. I'm going to have to make these soon!

Mollye said...

Oh Mary what a delightful post. I am forwarding a link to your blog to my priest as I know he would love your post today. Hugs, Mollye

CailinMarie said...

oh my! did they really wrap your knucles if your cakes were too heavy? dear me!
I love hearing about your grandmother who is more catholic than the pope. I miss the catholic church (I married an episcopalian) and I LOVE LOVE LOVE your photo of St. Nikolaus - I lived in germany for a bit growing up and the town's St. Nik visited my home on Dec 6th and I didn't understand a word he said to me but I remember it. And I remember my neighbor hiding under her table when Peter, with the coal, enacted by a friend of her father's, stopped in for a drink as our two houses were the last in town!

Pam said...

I always end up learning something new from your posts Mary. Your Grandma Maude sounds like a great lady. The latkes and boxtys look so tasty - I love anything made of potatoes.

5 Star Foodie said...

The Irish latkes are new to me and they sound absolutely perfect for our family as we are getting ready for Hanukkah and planning our summer stay in Dublin while listening to my daughter's favorite Celtic Woman :)

Mary said...

5 Star Foodie, you will love Dublin. Remember the boxty is a cake, not a pancake. With good butter or thick sour cream they will bring you to your knees.

Ebie said...

Thank you for sharing the recipes. Coming from a different culture, I have experienced latke when I was working part time for a Jewish elderly couple. Since I did not know anything, I used the commercial box ones! Hehehe!
My daughter loves potatoes! I will try to make them!

Your posts always make me hungry!

daylily777 said...

Great Santa Claus Pic ! Both recipes look & sound delicious .
Merry christmas !
~Myrna

Pam said...

My daughter was just asking me to make these yesterday and I needed a recipe. Thanks!

Ms.Daisy said...

Mary,
I so love the jewel tones of those peppers! One of my favorite summmertime dinners is fried peppers, onions and crushed fresh tomatoes. I can't take credit for this "hash" because it was my Mother's. We always had it with fresh baked Italian bread. Ummmmm!
Thanks for stopping by and saying 'hi' on OW.


~Jean

June said...

MMM they look wonderful! Both of these would be great party food miniatures as appetizers, wouldn't they?

Mary said...

June, they'd be delicious but an awful lot of work to make as miniatures.

Katy ~ said...

Latkes I've made, boxty I have not. I am going to make boxty. I even like the word!

free online adventure games said...

More potato recipes! Latke reminds me of the Swedish rosti - something I really like served with some bacon and sour cream. But I'll try latke instead. Both these recipes feel like such simple but great breakfast fares.

Lori said...

Latkes I have a lot but I have never heard of boxty.

More Catholic than the Pope. Wow. That is very seriously Catholic. God Bless her.

Sarah said...

Mary, what a "delicious" post! Thanks for these recipies. I'll give them a try. And thanks for sharing this event for Outdoor Wednesday. ~ Sarah

Jamie said...

I love latkes but I think I'll love boxty maybe even more! They look so thick and toothsome and flavorful! Must try these this Hanukkah in place of my regular latkes. Methinks husband and sons may enjoy these better!

Megan said...

i agree with mary. they'd Be Delicious if they weren't so small

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