German Night: Tofu Kartoffelkuchen Potato Pancakes
For weeks D has pretty much let me know that he likes “regular food”, in the face of a multitude of Asian inspired dishes. I finally took his lead this week, granting him pizza, pasta, and one free-choice: German. As I previously mentioned, when flipping through Tofu Cookery, my primary intention was to find uses for tofu that I had yet to explore. The foccacia pizza certainly delivered, and so tonight I attempted a German-inspired potato pancake. The only experience I have with potato pancakes are from a box many many moons ago. I definitely enjoyed them (topped with apple sauce or sour cream), but they aren’t exactly healthy and I never found a need to return to them. So when I saw the recipe for “Tofu Kartoffelkuchen” (say that 3x fast), I knew it was something I wanted to try.
The recipe itself is simple and the ingredient list is fresh and short. It calls for a bit of frying (light frying we can say), however I think I totally got that all wrong. First I put too much olive oil, then not enough. I think you need to somehow find the right balance to crisp up the potatoes and not die from too many raw onions infiltrating your system. Also a large skillet would have been helpful, as these babies take up some serious time and space – it took me nearly an hour to fry up 8 – and mine didn’t even hit high crisp factor!
Regardless, they were delicious. I served them with some applesauce (which needs to play a larger role in my life) and some tofutti sour cream mixed with a little lemon juice. I had originally planned to serve with asparagus, however when I pulled the spears out they were sorta funky and I decided not to risk it. I substituted with a small salad.
Well? D really enjoyed it, I think. He had just eaten lunch a bit earlier and was more interested in the salad (if I had known I wouldn’t have slaved for an hour on these babies!). I thought they were like delicious hashbrown pancakes, and really a great comfort food – except as all these potatoes expand in my tummy I am not feeling so entirely comforted. Anyways I would totally make these babies again, and encourage you to give them a try with one warning: BE CAREFUL when you grate the potatoes and onions. I grated so feverishly that I grated off part of my thumb nail. I know it’s gross, and I was really pissed. So just take it easy.
Also important to mention, this was the first time I blended soft tofu, and I was amazed at how similar the consistency was to ricotta, and how delicious it smelled with mixed with fresh garlic. I forsee some homemade vegan lasagna/manicotti/baked ziti in the future!
Enjoy the recipe below from TOFU Cookery by Louise Hagler, courtesy of Book Publishing Co. !
- 8 medium-size potatoes, grated
- 1/2 pound soft regular tofu, processed in a blender until smooth
- 1 large onion, grated
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons unbleached flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Heat a 6-inch skillet over medium heat andbrush with light olive oil or canola oil. Spoon about 3/4 cup of the potato mixture into the pan and flatten it to about 1/2 inch thick. Fry over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Brush more oil on the pan for the second side, if needed. Repeat this process for the remaining potato mixture; it should make 8 (6-inch) cakes. Serve hot with applesauce on the side or top with tofu sour cream. Enjoy!
What’s the best use you’ve made out of a block of tofu? Don’t forget to enter my Vegan Bites book giveaway!