Sunday, October 16, 2011

Italian Potato Pancakes

Although intended as an appetizer, this recipe may be divided into several small pancakes and served as a breakfast dish.

3 teaspoons prepared garlic
1 pinch dried rosemary, crushed
1 pinch dried basil, crushed
1 pinch dried oregano, crushed
1 pinch dried thyme leaves, crushed
2 tablespoons bacon pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup Ener-g bread crumbs, toasted
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated, divided
3 tablespoons canola oil
6 russet potatoes, shredded
1 medium zucchini squash, shredded
2 tablespoons olive oil, for drizzling
1 cup Ricotta cheese
1/4 cup whipping cream
32 sprigs thyme leaves

1. Place rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover bottom of baking pan with piece of parchment paper; set aside.

2. In small mixing bowl, combine garlic, rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, bacon pieces, salt, bread crumbs, egg whites, mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Set aside.

3. Grate potatoes & zucchini; place in towel and squeeze liquid out. Place grated vegetables in large mixing bowl. Add cheese mixture and combine thoroughly.

4. Working quickly so that potatoes do not discolor, place canola oil in 12 inch Teflon coated skillet over medium high heat. Add potato mixture. Using the back of a wooden spoon, pat potato mixture flat. Drizzle with olive oil & sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese. Turn heat to low.

5. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges begin to brown. To check for browning on the bottom, gently run a flexible Teflon spatula under the edge. When underside begins to brown, gently slide pancake, cooked side down, onto parchment paper lined baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until top of pancake begins to brown & edges are crispy.

6. For a most crisp pancake, bake on 375 degrees Fahrenheit for ab
out 40 to 45 minutes, watching carefully so that pancake does not burn.

7. When cooked to desired degree of brown and crispy, remove from oven & allow to cool completely. When completely cool, cut rounded edges off to make a square. Using a serrated knife, cut into 32 1 1/2-inch squares.

8. Place ricotta cheese & whipping cream in a small mixing bowl. Stir vigorously to mix thoroughly. Place 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of ricotta cheese mixture in center of each square. Garnish each with a sprig of fresh thyme.

Servings: 32

Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Nutrition (per serving): 100 calories, 58 calories from fat, 6.6g total fat, 11.9mg cholesterol, 146.9mg sodium, 213.9mg potassium, 7.7g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, <1g sugar, 3.2g protein.

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