Friday, October 06, 2006

Where Ideas Come From

I like to read new cookbooks from the library. I can spend a day or two thumbing through the pages, making up my mind whether it's a book I'd like to own.
Boy, have I saved a lot of money this way.
The last book I didn't have to buy was written by someone whose heyday in the cooking world was a few decades ago, and even though his/her newest effort (neat trick, eh, keeping his/her identity a secret) has been well received, it just struck me as a teensy bit frumpy.
I don't clamor for ultra-modern recipes. I love my old, dowdy cookbooks. But this one was an encyclopedic bore, so back to the library it went.
Whereupon I checked out another fat, new cookbook, this one a collection of recipes from a food magazine I don't even like. I haven't thumbed through it completely, because it, too, bores me. But I did get one good idea from it, which I have transformed here so completely, you'd never be able to guess which book the idea comes from. (See, I'm nice that way, not wanting to trash people in public. Oh, no. You're right. I'm not always nice.)
Anyway. It's a big, one-skillet potato pancake. What a neat thing! I made mine from grated white- and orange-fleshed sweet potatoes instead of "real" russet potatoes. There's a grated onion in there too, along with a beaten egg and salt and pepper. Fried on both sides, then topped with a medley of butter-roasted fruits (fig, peach, pear, apple) and sliced radishes (so yummy when they're cooked in butter). Then crumbled goat cheese over it all before a quick lick of the broiler flames.
It's not desserty at all, not even close, and it bears no relation to the recipe that gave me the idea, other than the fact that some potatoes were shredded for a big, one-skillet pancake.
Cranky called it a Sweet Potato Pizza in a Pan.


Karina said...

I've recycled [so!] many cookbooks. To make way for new ones, of course.

Your rendition of this mystery recipe looks utterly amazing. My kinda recipe. I may have to give it a go.

cookiecrumb said...

Hey, Karina: We're thinking of doing it again, with different flavors on top (sauteed peppers, onions, chopped olives). I hope you experiment. And if you do, I forgot to mention that I also stirred a spoonful of flour and a pinch of baking powder into the grated potatoes. Just Google "sweet potato pancakes" for some guidelines.

cookiecrumb said...

Karina: Of course, you'd want to substitute something for the flour... What was I thinking??

Karina said...

Oh, no worries! ;-)

I keep a bag of Pamela's gluten free baking/flour mix in the fridge; it's so handy for recipes like this when all I need is a spoonful of flour.

Lately I can't get enough of sweet potatoes. And this recipe just sounded - ooh la la.

[By the way, it's so good to have time again to visit my favorite blogs. Nice!]

chilebrown said...

I just won a free cookbook from a radio station. (The Healthy Beef Cook Book). It is not my style. I love beef,and want to be healthy. My favorite healthy recipe is "Five Joint Soup," Dana Crumb. Oh well! Peace,Paul

cookiecrumb said...

Paul: I know I wouldn't pay money for a healthy beef cookbook, but I'm kinda thinking I wouldn't even phone a radio station and try to win one! :D

Stacie said...

my mouth is watering. I love the humble potato pancake, and this one sounds dressed up nice!

Kevin said...

Sounds wonderful!

Dagny said...

That just sounds decadent. I am off to content myself with some plain old ice cream now.

chilebrown said...

No phone call involved. I did not mention the Weber Barbeque and Tools that came along with the 'Healthy Beef Cook Book'.Somebody is going to get a nice Christmas present. I hope they are Healthy!

Greg said...

Sweet potatoes seem to have become the new darlings of the culinary world. My kind of food. Delicious and inexpensive food cost.

cookiecrumb said...

Stacie: Yeah, I guess it is kinda dressed up! Probably doesn't sound like it, but it was so easy.

Kevin: Thanks. :)

Dagny: Decadent? When did the little ol' sweet potato get decadent? (I know. When I piled buttered fruit on top of it.)

Chilebrown: You're sumthin', man.

Greg: Yeah, I know about you and potatoes!