A religious history lesson from an atheist: In eastern Europe, the week leading up to Lent (because Lent begins on a Monday, not Ash Wednesday like it does in Western Christianity) is known as Pancake week. This is because Orthodox are hard-core and you needed to get rid of all milk, eggs, and butter before Lent began and you couldn’t eat them anymore. I may be an atheist, but I’m still Russian and I love pancakes so… I didn’t have time to make bliny this year, so I went with more straight-forward potato pancakes with a twist – kale. I love potato pancakes, but they never seem very healthy to me, so adding some green veggie (I’ve also done spinach and cabbage) makes me happy, and feel less guilty. Also, it’s extremely tasty!
2 large kale leaves, chopped
1 large russet potato
1/3 onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons flour
Canola oil for frying
Put the kale and onions in a large bowl. Grate the potato, and mix it in with the other veggies. Add the salt and flour and mix all together. The mixture should stick together somewhat. Crack the egg into the mixture, and mix the entire thing throughly. In theory you should beat the egg separately first, but I’ve always found that to be unnecessary. Heat maybe 1/2 an inch of canola oil in a large frying pan. You really want to use canola or vegetable oil for the frying, as other oils will change the taste of the dish subtly. Once the oil is very hot (like nearly boiling) add small bits of the mixture, and flatten it out into pancake form. I’m bad with exact measurements, but a medium-sized frying pan should fit 2, 3 if you make them very small. Fry until golden on one side – the edges will be crispy – and flip and fry the other side. Remove and place on paper towels to soak up the extra oil. Serve hot.
So, so good. Anything fried is good, but these were really awesome. Lask week I made different kale pancakes, but these were much better. The key to a quality pancake, is that you shouldn’t need to add anything to it. Adding things can be awesome, but it should taste delicious all on its own. These met that criteria. I had this with Blue Moon’s First Peach ale, which I really like. I get crap for drinking Blue Moon because it’s owned by Coors, but they make good stuff. And I see it as a victory for the craft beer movement that one of the giants of shitty American beer is jumping on the band-wagon. Song of the week: Uptown Funk/Lips are Moving by Sam Tsui. Every time I hang out with one of my friends, he introduces me to some pop song I quickly get obsessed with – this time it was Uptown Funk. But I love Sam Tsui, and this version is better.