Monday, August 29, 2005 11:34 PM
Spicy lentil-potato patty on flatbread
I like piadina, the lard-enhanced soft, cracker-like flatbread of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. But I don’t use a lot of pork lard in my vegetarian kitchen. On the other hand, the toasted ghee I made last week stands in just fine; in German clarified butter is actually known as Butterschmalz, and other kinds of rendered fats are known as (Animal-)schmalz. So I always thought it would work as a fair alternative if I decided to make a piadina- or crespelle-like flatbread at home. The ingredients are functionally equivalent, though the flavors are certainly not the same. It's definitely a respectable fat.
I wasn’t really trying to make something particularly Italian, though; I just wanted a nice thin crispy-soft flatbread. Given my tendency to cook vaguely Indian food over the last few days, I actually thought something with the nuttiness of chapati would actually be nice, but I wanted something closer to the texture of piadina to hold up to my filling. So I balanced the two concepts by using a 50–50 ratio of whole wheat to white flour, as would be fairly typical for chapati, I blended in my toasted ghee, then added some water until I had a stiff dough.
My lentil cravings haven’t quite disappeared, but I didn’t want something as dense as my koftas, so this time I made a big lentil-potato pancake. I incorporated parboiled potatoes into a spiced ground lentil mixture. I made patties and cooked them in a substantial amount of oil. I browned it on both sides. The patty took a fair amount of time to cook, along the lines of a Rösti, but had a nice texture, flavor and color. Even with the lengthy cooking time, I’d definitely recommend finely grinding lentils for this kind of application rather than using cooked lentils.
I placed this lentil-potato “patty” between two layers of the flatbread with some sliced tomatoes, sweet onions, and raclette cheese.
I served this with a signature salad of mine, mixed greens with a yuzu-honey vinaigrette.
In the morning I made buttermilk waffles with some Hawaiian coconut syrup I got at the Beaverton Uwajimaya. It’s full of saturated and trans fats and has a very nice coconut flavor. It doesn’t look like it would photograph well when plated, so I didn’t try.
I got a late start doing business-like things. I should have worked harder today, but Monday seems to be the one day I give myself the luxury of working a little slowly… But I didn’t come home to make dinner until about 8pm, so I ate fairly late. But I sent off oustanding orders.
My car’s brakes have been making disturbing noises recently, so I am afraid I’ll have to get them checked… another irritating expenditure.