Friday, 10 August 2012

Deli Supper

Comfort food is different for everyone. Sometimes it's warm meal on a rainy day, sometimes it's simple flavours that just you don't have to think too hard about, and sometimes it's a meal that has so many memories that it just brings you right back. Sometimes, like today, it's all three. One of my all-time favourite comfort foods is potato pancakes. It's easy and delicious and makes me feel thirteen again.

I decided to make potato pancakes and deli supper for Brycie because he has not yet experienced it and I knew a little meat'n'potatoes would be right up his alley. When I propositioned "deli supper," the first thing he said was, "Well what is it?" and I said, "Hot potato cakes with meat sandwiches." Nothing wrong with that, he said. And he's right.

Our Mumma used to make deli supper for us on special treat days when we were kids and it was always just the best thing ever. Having just finished a wonderful family weekend in Hunstville, I came home alone to Kingston thinking, "I want to taste family food." And that's what the potato pancakes are.

Ingredients are dead simple and cheap, too. You most likely already have all of it in your cupboards. You need potatoes (I bought about ten yukon golds so I could make them again later this week), a white onion, an egg, some flour, butter, salt, and pepper.
Grating the bejeesus out of the potatoes.
Grate your potatoes with a cheese grater. Originally Bryce and I had an assembly line process where I would peel and he would grate, but I realized right away that peeling a yukon gold isn't even necessary. Their skin is delicate and you won't even notice it. But for goodness sake, don't grate your fingers by accident! Or you'll swear off the potato pancakes forever and that won't be any good. You could probably use a food processor, but that's not how I learned it. Make more mix than you think you'll eat because the leftovers heat up nicely and whoever you make these for will mow more than you think (they're that good).

Hot potato
Once your pan is hot, spoon in the mix - I usually do two or three at a time. Don't overcrowd the pan or they won't brown. One heaping tablespoon makes one large pancake, so use that as your guide. Today I grated three small-medium potatoes and I had about 8 pancakes at the end, so it makes quite a bit.

Smash down the scoops with a spatula and let them brown on the one side, about two minutes. Flip, brown the other side, and then transfer to a plate in the oven to keep them warm while you cook the rest. God help you if you don't season them with a little salt as soon as they come out of the pan.

Serve them with a little butter and a dollop of sour cream. Bryce wanted ketchup but I said no because that's not the way we ate them as kids, and I also refuse to stock ketchup in the house because it grosses me out.

For the full deli experience, serve the pancakes with hot Montreal smoked meat sandwiches on rye bread with swiss cheese and mustard.

I hadn't eaten these little wonders in about six years, since before I left home. One bite and I was right back in Momma's arms again! Some tastes just don't change. It feels good to be home, even when you're not.

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