Friday, April 22, 2011
Savory Salmon Pancakes
My good friend Cindy (remember? -- her niece didn't have cake at her wedding, which sent me down a spiral of obsession!) gave me a lovely gift the other day to thank me for my help with some projects at work: The New York Times Passover Cookbook. A new cookbook!!! I cannot tell you how thrilled I was ... :)
So, of course, I immediately started to peruse it. I could easily have stopped everything else I was doing and just walked down the hall to the kitchen to make lunch for my co-workers with my new recipes!
But I was a good, responsible employee and waited 'til the next day to start my cooking. And the very first thing I made? A variation on the recipe featured on page 107: Mrs. Arnold Stein's Cottage Cheese Chremsele.
Chremsel ([KREM-suhl] -- ignore the spelling variations with or without an "e", as either is an acceptable transliteration) is a Yiddish word, meaning "a flat fried cake made with matzoth meal and filled usu. with prunes" (according to Merriam-Webster) ... essentially a pancake. I don't know who Mrs. Arnold Stein is/was, or why her chremslach ([KREMZ-lahk] - the plural) weren't filled with prunes. But the pancakes featured cottage cheese -- something I had in the refrigerator and was trying to use up -- so that pushed them to the top of my list.
I am not a creature of habit (OCD? -- oh, yeah; routine? -- no), and have grown exceedingly weary of eggs or cereal or toast or similar items for breakfast. I'm the kinda girl who'll re-heat spaghetti and meatballs in the morning if it's available, so being limited to kosher and vegetarian options has put a bit of a damper on my need for variety. No bacon, no sausage, no leftovers permitted to be brought home ... sigh.
Thus, an opportunity for something new and novel immediately perked up my morning.
The chremsele recipe called for separating the eggs and whipping the whites ... uh uh, not when I'm hungry after not having eaten since the night before! I also veered from the recipe by adding some salmon (and lox would have been sublime in these, if I'd had it) and a pinch of dill. Then I fried 'em up and served them with sour cream.
Oh, the decadence! The pancakes were rich and flavorful, and a fabulous option for a fast breakfast, brunch, light lunch/supper ... truly, a quick and easy recipe that will be made over and over again.
So thank you, Mrs. Stein, for inspiring my breakfast. And thank you again, Cindy, for your friendship and for the lovely, thoughtful gift which I adore ... :)
Savory Salmon Pancakes
1/4 cup cottage cheese
pinch of salt
generous sprinkling of lemon pepper
2 heaping tablespoons of matzah meal or flour
1/3 cup mashed, flaked salmon
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon dill
1 tablespoon butter
sour cream, for serving
In a medium bowl, mix together the eggs, cottage cheese, salt and lemon pepper. Stir in the matzah meal, salmon, onion and dill.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Make 5 mounds with the batter, and cook 3 minutes per side until the pancakes are golden brown and don't wobble if you nudge them slightly with the spatula.
Serve hot, with sour cream.
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