Appetizers

Root Vegetable Potato Pancakes with Caviar and Creme Fraiche

Root Vegetable Potato Pancakes with Caviar and Creme Fraiche

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Servings: 6 to 8

These potato pancakes look rustic, but when you add a dollop of crème fraîche and a bit of caviar, you’ve created an elegant appetizer. We suggest two combinations of root veggies to choose from: potatoes and parsnips, or potatoes and carrots. The rest of the ingredients are the same for both, except we add some potato starch to the potato-carrot pancakes. Although we call them pancakes, they do look a lot like latkes. If you’d rather treat them as such, swap out the panko for matzo meal, and omit the potato starch in the potato-carrot pancakes.

Ingredients

For the root vegetables (choose one combination):

  • 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) russet potatoes, peeled, plus 1 large parsnip (about 3/4 lb./375 g), peeled 1/2 lb. (250 g) russet potatoes, peeled, plus 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) rainbow carrots, peeled
  • 1 yellow onion, halved
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/4 cup (1/3 oz./10 g) panko
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. (1 3/4 oz./50 g) potato starch (for potato-carrot pancakes only]
  • Avocado or vegetable oil for frying
  • Crème fraîche for serving
  • Caviar for serving
  • Chopped fresh chives for garnish

Directions:

  • In a food processor, using the shredding disc on the largest setting, or using a handheld box grater, grate the root vegetables, including the onion.
  • Transfer the grated vegetables to a colander set over a large bowl and toss them together. Squeeze the vegetables dry for about 2 minutes, then let them drain in the colander for about 2 minutes. Pour off any liquid in the bowl but reserve the starchy paste at the bottom. Repeat this process two more times. You want to remove as much moisture as possible to ensure the crispiest pancakes.
  • Transfer the root vegetables to the bowl with the reserved starchy paste. Add the eggs, butter, panko, baking powder, 2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. If making potato-carrot pancakes, add the potato starch. Using a rubber spatula, stir until the ingredients are combined.
  • Line a baking sheet with paper towels. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, pour in oil to a depth of 1/8 inch (3 mm) and heat until almost smoking. Working in batches, carefully spoon 1/4-cup mounds of the batter into the pan, spacing them about 2 inches (5 cm) apart and flattening them slightly with a spatula. Fry the pancakes until crisp and golden brown underneath, about 2 minutes, then flip and cook until crisp and golden brown on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and season on both sides with salt, then transfer to a platter. Repeat to cook the remaining pancakes, adding more oil to the pan as needed.
  • Let the pancakes cool for 5 minutes, then top each with a dollop of crème fraîche and a little caviar. Garnish with chives and serve. Serves 6 to 8.
  • Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

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