Friday, December 2, 2011

French Fridays with Dorie - matafan (fluffy mashed potato pancakes)

Yeah, back on the Dorie band wagon.  The couple of weeks before Thanksgiving were a little crazy and I actually did not cook one Dorie recipe for Turkey Day, so I didn't post last week either.  Ah well.  I'm so much gentler with myself and felt no remorse at all.  However, I did feel a bit of pressure to make sure I posted this week!  Lucky for me, we were making a relatively simple recipe, at least in the number of ingredients (only 5 - potatoes, salt, flour, eggs, milk).  The recipe itself had a few steps, but with the ever helpful Ethan by my side, we were able to make these for a weeknight dinner.




Baked on a bed of salt.
Luckily, I remembered at 3:30 that the potatoes needed to bake for 1.5 hours, so in the oven they went.  On a bed of salt.  How fun!  I have no idea if it had the desired effect (drying out the potatoes as they baked), but my potatoes definitely did not seem to have any extra moisture in them (I wonder if anyone saved the salt, I didn't, but probably could have). 



Love my ricer!
After baking, I got to "rice" the potatoes.  I love my ricer...I just don't use it very often.  Mainly because I usually have 5 lbs of potatoes to rice, which takes forever.  But with just two potatoes, it was the perfect tool for the job. 


On a side note, Dorie says to only use Russets, not Yukon Golds and definitely bake, don't boil.  For Thanksgiving, I was making The Pioneer Woman's fantastic mashed potatoes (which I have made at least 50 times) and using Yukon Golds.  Those gosh darn (this is definitely the G version, the actual version had a hard R rating) potatoes melted away to nothing when I boiled them.  Literally, there was nothing left of the potatoes (I had to make potato soup out of them and start again).  Luckily, I was making them the day before (since they are sort of like a casserole and can go in the fridge and then the oven after they are mashed) T Day, so I was able to make another batch with Russets on T Day.  Anyone ever have that issue with Yukons?  It's happened to me twice now and I don't think I'll ever use them for mashed potatoes again.

Anyway, getting back to the topic at hand, Ethan gladly beat the egg whites as I riced the potatoes and make the pancake base.  As I was making it, I was reminded of a grougere or pate a choux dough.  It had the same consistency and beautiful golden color from the egg yolks. 


Have you seen a more lovely pancake batter?
Alas, as I was adding the beautiful egg whites that Ethan had so lovingly beat to firm peaks, I realized I'd not salted or peppered the dough.  After the egg whites were folded in, I thought it was too late and didn't want to deflate the dough.  So I added a bit, but not much.  When I cooked the pancakes, Dorie says to flip them after the little bubbles form and pop in the batter, just like a regular pancake.  Well, I don't know about others', but there were no bubbles in my batter upon cooking.  So, I just turned them when the bottoms were done.

Cast iron is perfect for these beauties!

Before butter and syrup.
While we enjoyed the pancakes, Ethan's remark was "they need salt."  I laughed.  At least salt is easy to add at the table.  I think these would be terrific with a little onion or maybe some cheese mixed into the batter.  They tasted like a potato omelet, only very light and airy.  We did add butter and syrup, just cause if it's a pancake, it's gotta have butter and syrup!  We liked them enough that I think we would try them again.  Also on our plate for this dinner was Dream Dinners' French Onion Chicken (probably my favorite DD chicken dinner of all time) and some steamed broccoli.  All in all, a relatively healthy and satisfying fall (almost winter) dinner.  Wondering how my fellow Doristas fared this week?  Find out here.  Have a terrific week and enjoy the holiday season!!



14 comments:

Susan said...

We liked these, too. I agree - the addition of onion and cheese would take them right over the top!

oneexpatslife said...

I love my ricer too and can't imagine living without it. Looks like it will be getting a workout when I get around to this recipe.

Adriana said...

I had no bubbles in my cakes either, so like 'real' pancakes, the first two were not that good or pretty. Love your chicken and waffles inspired take for this meal - I don't need convincing to combine "dinner food" with maple syrup covered cakes.

Ei said...

Mine never bubbled, either. I was worried I'd done something wrong, but they tasted fine. I never had that problem with the melting boiled potatoes, though. Weird!!

DessertByCandy said...

Talk about unneeded stress what happened to your Yukon Golds the day before Thanksgiving! Glad everything turned out alright in the end. I didn't get bubbles on mine either. There's no chemical leavener in the batter so why would bubbles form when heated? Must be an oversight in the book.

Pancakes+butter+syrup is classic! Hard to say no to that, right?

Kris' Kitchen said...

Your meal looks wonderful. I cheated in a few areas, but I like how these turned out. For sure, I'll make these again really soon.

amanda @ fake ginger said...

I didn't even think to save the salt! I wish I had! Gah. :(

Yours look awesome! I wish I'd tried them with syrup.

Frankly Entertaining said...

I should have tried mine with something extra. I found them a little bland for all the work involved.

Kathy said...

Delicious looking matafan! Mine never bubbled either. They were so light and wonderful...a big hit in our house.

Sis. Boom. said...

I think I want to add thyme to mine and STILL use them for breakfast. I'll keep you posted. These look great! Great job!

Robin said...

Ditto on the no bubbles. I'll make these again with add ins and toppings. Your French onion chicken sounds tasty.

tastymayhem said...

We liked. And no bubbles for us either. I just flipped when they looked "set." I;ve thought of a lot of add-ins, but we really don't eat potatoes, so this my be our only time cooking or eating them.

Christy said...

Great looking meal, and beautiful pancakes! Welcome back! PS, I love my ricer too

Cher said...

Here is where I admit I totally cheated and used boxed potatoes instead of cooking. I shouldn't even admit that, should I? They probably weren't even real potaotes :-)
Welcome back to Dorie land! We missed you.