Sunday, September 9, 2007

Southwestern Style Potato Pancakes with Avocado Cream

On Saturday night, we celebrated my Aunt Katie's 50th birthday. It was a great time and I had so much fun seeing Katie and her husband Scott- they are incredibly fun people! The party had a Southwestern theme, a nod to their beautiful Colorado ranch and the horses they love to keep. As I have been pretty busy with school and work, I found myself at the last minute without the suggested Southwestern apparel- no cowboy hat, no bandanna, no nuthin! So for lack of a better idea, I decided to whip up a little appetizer to coordinate with the theme. I love potato pancakes, and I'm really happy with the way this recipe turned out. Try it and see what you think!

Southwestern Style Potato Pancakes

2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes
1 large yellow onion, peeled
1 large red pepper, small dice
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Olive oil for cooking

-Grate potatoes and onions. Place them in a colander and rinse. Let the grated veggies drain.
-Transfer potatoes and onions to a large mixing bowl and add red pepper and cilantro. Combine.
-Stir in egg, then mix in flour and spices. Adjust amount of flour as necessary.
-Use a small scoop to portion out pancake mixture. Flatten each portion slightly and place on a parchment-paper lined sheet pan.
-In the bottom of a large, heavy bottomed skillet, add olive oil. There should be at least 1/4 in. of oil in the bottom of the pan.
-Heat the oil over medium heat. When it is hot, fry the pancakes 4 minutes on each side. Finished pancakes can be placed on another baking sheet line it with paper towel to absorb excess oil.
-Garnish with avocado cream, slivers of red pepper, and a sprinkling of cilantro.

Avocado Cream

1 ripe avocado
1 Tbs. lime juice
1/2 cup light sour cream
2 Tbs. cilantro
Salt to taste.

-Cut avocado in half and remove seed. Scoop out fruit into the bowl of a blender.
-Add lime juice, sour cream and cilantro.
-Blend until smooth.
-Season to taste with salt.

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