Thursday, December 18, 2014

Kartoffelpuffer: German Potato Pancakes

The holidays are in full swing and I may have already gained a few pounds from all of the eggnog and cookies.  The cookies I was not supposed to eat, but rather gift.  Oops.

To take a break from all of the sweets, I decided that for this weeks FN Dish post, that I would go back to my German roots (okay, I'm not German) and make Kartoffelpuffer! Say it with me now... Kartoffelpuffer! Such a fun word, huh? Kartoffelpuffer (also known as Reibekuchen and Kartoffelpfannkuchen - more fun words) are potato pancakes.  

Although I may not be German and I will not pretend to be a German food connoisseur, I did have a student from Germany live with me for a year.  He would always try his hand in our kitchen, and although he was not a very good cook, his potato pancakes were great! I don't know why, but I just love potato pancakes! Maybe it's all the carbs and oil!? Oh well! 

This recipe is from my former exchange students family, so it is a more traditional and basic recipe. Although there are variations to this recipe, I like to keep it simple and stick to my so-called German roots! The pancakes can be served as a snack or appetizer, but they are more traditionally served as a side during the holiday season. 

Kartoffelpuffer - Potato Pancakes

-3 russet potatoes (roughly 2 - 2.5lbs)
-1 large onion
-3 eggs, beaten
-1 teaspoon salt
-Optional: 1/3 cup flour or potato starch 
-Canola oil 

Peel and grate the potatoes and onion and place in a strainer since they will be very watery.  Let them sit for about 10 minutes. You could also ring them out in a paper towel if you are in a rush.  It is okay if they are still watery.  I have skipped this step all together a couple of times when I was in a real rush. 

Transfer the potato and onion mixture to a bowl and mix in the salt and eggs.  If using the flour, mix that in too. Set aside. 

Heat a skillet with oil (roughly 1/4 cup).  Take a scoop of the mixture (I just use my hands) and form a little disk, roughly 2 - 3 inches in diameter, and flatten.  Plop 3 - 4 of the pancakes at a time into the oil. Cook for a few minutes until golden brown and then flip to cook the other side.  Each side will take roughly 3 minutes.  Continue until all of the mixture is gone.  You may need to add a little more oil in between batches. 

Remove the pancakes from the skillet and let dry on a paper towel lined baking sheet to help drain some of the oil.  Serve warm with applesauce, or enjoy plain! Happy holidays!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Grilled Salmon with Greek Salad and Greek Yogurt Sauce

Today we are going Greek, because who doesn't like a little Greek food in their lives!? This past weekend my husband had a hankering for Salmon, so rather than oil it up (okay, I still used a little oil) and add a ton of unnecessary ingredients, I decided to keep it simple and make it Greek!

The timing worked out perfectly because I was inspired by Chobani’s #MadeWithChobani project, where bloggers can make a recipe using Chobani Greek yogurt (which is our yogurt of choice and quite fabulous if you ask me).  Now, there are a number of ways that I eat my yogurt - plain, with fruit and granola, on pretzels, as a dipping sauce, in smoothies (mmm smoothies...), and more! However, since I like to eat my fish with a yummy (and albeit unhealthy) sauce, and since I like to load my salad up with dressing, I decided to use  Chobani instead.  That way I would still have a delicious sauce and dressing without all of the extra not-so-good-for-you-stuff!

So go ahead, give this a try, and you will all become Chobaniholics!

Grilled Salmon with Greek Salad and Greek Yogurt Sauce

For the Salmon:
-About 1.25lbs of Salmon (enough for 2 people)
-Olive oil
-Salt and pepper

For the Salad:
-1 head romaine lettuce (or you can buy a lettuce mix bag), sliced
-1/2 cup Kalamata olives
-2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
-1/2 cucumber, chopped (or one whole smaller cucumber)
-1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

For the Sauce/Dressing:
-1 cup of non-fat plain Chobani yogurt
-1 lemon zested and juiced
-2 teaspoons of finely chopped dill
-Salt and pepper to taste

Drizzle a tablespoon of oil in a medium sized pan and heat.  While your pan is heating, pat dry your salmon with a paper towel and sprinkle just a little salt and pepper on both sides of the salmon.  Place the salmon into your heated pan and cook for about four minutes, flip, and then cook for roughly another four minutes.  Remove salmon from the pan and let sit for a couple of minutes.

While your salmon rests, prepare the salad and sauce.  In a bowl, toss the lettuce, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, and feta cheese.  Set aside.  In a separate bowl, mix together the yogurt, lemon juice and zest, dill, and a little salt and pepper to taste (no more than a 1/2 teaspoon).

Plate the salad and then place the salmon on top.  Drizzle the sauce on top and that will act as your dressing too (you can of course always add more sauce).  Enjoy!

Now go ahead and join the #MadeWithChobani movement and find more recipes here.

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