Daddy's Potato Pancakes
Peel and hand grate the potatoes on the largest side of grater. Put them in a collander and press down to get the water out.
Peel and hand grate on the second largest side of the grater. (The side you would grate cheese on.) Squeeze out the water with your hand and put them in a bowl with the potatoes. (The potatoes may have taken on an odd brownish gray color, don't worry about it.)
- freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Add to potatoes and onions, mix up, set aside until you are ready to fry.
Crisp the Duck Rillettes
I did not know what duck rillettes were. I had to google it. Then I figured out what I wanted to do. I put them on a very low heat so the fat would melt without the duck burning. Just before I was ready to assemble the dish, I turned the heat up to crisp the meat. This was truly the richest most delicious complement to the eggs and potato pancakes.
Our Dad made the best potato pancakes ever. I made these from memory having watched him many times. He fried them in oil. I decided to try it on a griddle instead. Take a flat griddle pan, spray with non-stick spray and wipe off excess with paper towel. Heat griddle pan over medium heat. Drop batter onto griddle 1/4 cup at a time and gently press to flatten out. Let cook until golden brown and flip over. When done, place in preheated 250 degree oven to keep warm for plating.
- 8 brown cage free eggs (Yes, they actually do taste better.)
- freshly ground black pepper
Whisk everything together until the eggs are a little bit frothy. Set aside until you are ready to cook them.
Cook the Eggs
Spray a 12 inch saute or omelet pan with non-stick spray and wipe off excess with paper towel. Place over medium heat. Melt 1/2 stick of sweet cream butter in the pan. Pour the scrambled eggs into the pan. Let them set up. Do not start stirring the eggs until you see that the edges are cooking. Once that happens you stir from the outside edges to the center and continue to cook until you reach the desired consistency. I happen to like very dry scrambled eggs.
The eggs and rillettes are cooking simultaneously so you need to pay attention to both.
I plated this meal by putting two potato pancakes on the bottom, topped with two scoops of eggs and then the crisped rillettes on the top. I did it from the kitchen rather than serving it homestyle from a platter.
Mom's Mocha Drops
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- 2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
If you buy whole nuts, you can chop them in a food processor by pulsing them. The pieces should very small, about the size of a half grain of white rice.
- 1 cup butter (room temperature)
Cream with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.
- 1/3(+) cup unsweetened cocoa (Buy good cocoa. It really makes a difference.)
- 1 tbsp instant coffee or espresso
Sift ingredients together, add to creamed butter and sugar and mix well. Add chopped nuts and mix well so the nuts are evenly distributed throughout the dough. Use a small cookie dough scoop to form the drops. Line cookies up on trays 5 across and 6 down. They do not spread. Bake for 15 minutes. All ovens differ so start checking at 15 minutes to see whether they are done. I try to lift a cookie from the tray. If the drop maintains its shape, they are done. If it falls apart, I continue to bake and check them every 2 minutes. When done, remove from the oven and thoroughly cool on racks. When the cookies are completely cool sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Put the sugar in a mesh strainer hold it over the cookies and tap it with a spoon until they are completely coated.
Mom's Banana Bread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- 3/8 cup light brown sugar
- 4 really over ripe bananas
Cream the sugars and butter with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and milk. Mash the bananas with a potato masher or use your hands. They should have a pudding like consistency. Stir them in and add the vanilla.
Sift these ingredients together. Add to wet ingredients hand stir just until combined.
Grease and flour an 8" X 4" loaf pan. Pour batter into pan and bake for about one hour. All ovens are different so start checking at 50 minutes. If a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, it's done. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove, wrap in plastic, then in aluminum foil and place in refrigerator.
Everyday Divas Celebrations
Mimi Celebrates the Holidays
The secret to cookies that are crumbly and will melt in your mouth is to handle the dough as little as possible. I do not handle the dough at all but use a cookie dough scoop that works like an ice cream scoop to form the drops.
Mom's Banana Bread
Our mother was a great baker. She really enjoyed baking and because it requires precision it fit with her perfectionist nature. I used to think her banana bread would be awful because the skins of the bananas she used were so bruised. Of course, I wrong. I made this December 24th because it is better the second day.