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Friday, March 15, 2013

Potato and Turnip Pancakes

So it's safe to say I'm pretty much in love...with a farm. I've mentioned Grindstone Farm in the past as they offer an excellent CSA and always have great organic produce at the Farmer's Market. I've recently found more reasons to love them though. Last fall I had the opportunity to visit the farm for a class I was taking and gained a new appreciation for the hard work organic farmers put into providing safe, quality produce through sustainable growing methods for their communities. This farm in particular is going the extra mile to make their produce as well as other organic food producers' products more accessible. This past week I took advantage of Grindstone's "Healthy Box" of produce.  I ordered the box of veggies online and it was delivered to a store very close to my house a few days later. Couldn't be any easier right? My thoughts exactly.  On top of that, everything in it was organic and cost me less than I normally spend at the grocery store. Amazing. Period.

Here's a little bit of what we received this week:

  • Cabbage
  • Leaf lettuce
  • Turnips
  • Spinach
  • Shallots
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Avocados
  • Lemons
  • Bananas

Obviously not all of these items were grown locally since it is still a frozen tundra around here, but they were all grown organically and as many as possible were from local sources. Grindstone actually operates a greenhouse during the winter months, so they are able to keep up some of the growing all year round.  So overall, we were very satisfied with the quality and convenience if this mostly local purchase.

So what will we make with all of these tasty items you ask? Well since it's St. Patty's Day weekend and I'm Irish by marriage, I feel a bit of an obligation to make some good old fashioned Corned Beef and Cabbage.  However, before I do, the turnips were sort of calling to me (since I've never actually had one) and I found a really great recipe that I changed around and bit and came out with a pretty tasty, breakfast, lunch, or dinner-friendly Turnip and Potato Pancake.  Here's what I did:

Turnip and Potato Pancakes
Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes

- 2 medium turnips, diced
- 2 medium potatoes, diced
- 2 shallots, minced (original recipe calls for scallions, but I opted for shallots to offer a mild onion/garlic flavor)
- 1/4 cup of all purpose flour (a friend suggested to make this gluten-free, substituting 1/4 cup gluten-free pancake mix here)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- Sharp cheddar cheese for topping (just a sprinkle)

What to do:

1. Peel and dice your potatoes and turnips
2. Place them into boiling water for about 15 minutes or until they're tender.
3. While the vegetables are boiling, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Saute your shallots in the oil for about two minutes, being careful not to let them burn.
4. Once the potatoes and turnips are done, drain and mash them.
5. Stir in the flour, beaten egg, and shallots.
6. Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Using about 1/4 cup at a time, scoop the turnip mixture into the skillet and form 1/2 inch thick pancakes.  Cook until each side is golden brown, about 5 minutes a side.  I had trouble here flipping them without the pancakes falling apart, so make sure they're fully cooked and using two spatulas to flip may help.
7. Place the pancake on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain the excess oil.  Transfer to the serving dish and sprinkle with a bit of sharp cheddar cheese.  YUM!

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