Every Christmas Eve growing up, and a lot of other days throughout the year, Kápostás Tészta (Hungarian Caramelized Cabbage Noodles) and Potato Pancakes were featured meals leading up to the greater Christmas celebrations. We would have one for lunch and the other for dinner or one or the other, but each of them would be featured as part of Christmas.
I thought harmonizing the two flavours would be the ultimate Christmas treat! I decided to do two different service options. Firstly, caramelize the cabbage like I would for the noodle dish, then add bits of the caramelized cabbage to the potato pancake as it griddled, much like how one would add blueberries to a regular pancake.
Secondly, I stirred some caramelized cabbage into some sour cream and served it over a regularly prepared potato pancake. Each has their charm and showcase the sweet depth of flavour that is achieved in caramelizing the cabbage. Enjoy and have a Merry Christmas!!
Caramelized Cabbage Potato Pancakes:
For the Caramelized Cabbage:
2 tsp cold pressed camelina oil
300g/12 oz green cabbage (not Savoy or other kinds of cabbage. Only regular green cabbage works for this), finely grated
1/2 tsp salt
For the Potato Pancakes:
250g/8 oz peeled and cubed starchy potatoes (about 1-1/4 cups of potatoes)
1/2 cup peeled and chopped onions
2 cloves peeled and chopped garlic
1 Tbsp garlic powder
2/3 cup milk (cow’s milk or any non-dairy alternative works fine)
1 large egg
3/4 cup flour (I’ve used everything from regular all purpose, whole grain red fife wheat flour or buckwheat flour. All work equally well)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
To caramelize the cabbage, add the oil to a medium pot over medium high heat. Add the grated cabbage and salt. Stir every minute or so, scraping the bottom of the pot. After about five minutes, the cabbage will start to stick and brown slightly along the bottom of the pot. Add a few tablespoons of water and stir more. Reduce the heat to medium and stir every minute or two for another 15-20 minutes, adding a bit of water if the browning starts to stick the cabbage to the bottom of the pot. After that time, the cabbage should be deeply golden brown and soft. Set aside to cool.
To prepare the potato pancakes, add the potatoes, onions, garlic, garlic powder, milk and egg to a blender. Purée until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the flour, baking powder and salt to a medium bowl. Stir to blend the dry ingredients together. Add the dry mixture to the potato mixture. Stir until a smooth batter forms.
For option 1: Preheat a cast iron pan or other heavy pan over medium heat. Add a few tablespoons of oil and once it is hot enough to smoulder but not quite smoke, add 1/4 cup portions of batter and spread into pancakes. Griddle for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes per side until deeply golden. Stir together 1/4 cup of the Caramelized Cabbage with 1/2 cup sour cream and spoon over the top of the prepared Potato Pancakes.
For option 2: Preheat a cast iron pan or other heavy pan over medium heat. add a few tablespoons of oil and once it is hot enough to smoulder but not quite smoke, add 1/4 cup portions of batter and spread into pancakes. Griddle the pancake on one side for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Place 1/2 tsp bits of the Caramelized Cabbage all over the uncooked portion of the pancake while the first side griddles. Flip the pancake and griddle for another two minutes or until deeply golden. Drain on paper towels and serve with a sprinkle of salt. Makes 8 pancakes about 15cm/6″ in diameter each.