- Juan Mari Arzak born (1942)
Potato Pancakes with Smoked Sturgeon
- 1 pound organic russet potatoes, peeled
- 1 small onion
- 1 egg, preferably cage-free, beaten
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
- Cooking oil, such as canola, peanut, or safflower, for frying
- 1 ½ cups crème fraîche or sour cream
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
- Lemon juice, to taste
- ½ pound smoked sturgeon, separated into large flakes, skin and bones removed*
- Osetra caviar, for garnish
Wolfgang Puck keeps it classy with the addition of smoked sturgeon to a timeless tradition: potato pancakes.
Using the large holes of a box grater or shredder, or the grating disk on a food processor, shred the potatoes into a mixing bowl. Grate in the onion.
Line a large bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Transfer the mixture to the towel-lined bowl, twist the towel around the potatoes, and squeeze out as much liquid as you can (alternatively, you can pick the mixture up by handfuls and squeeze dry). Transfer to another bowl. Add the egg, flour, baking powder, ¾ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Stir with a fork until well blended.
Heat about ¼-inch of oil in a large, heavy skillet or in an electric fryer set at 350 degrees until it ripples and feels quite hot when you hold your hand over it. Line a tray or platter with paper towels. With a metal tablespoon, carefully place a spoonful of the mixture into the hot oil. Press down on the mixture with an offset spatula to form an evenly thick pancake about 3 inches in diameter. Add more spoonfuls, taking care not to overcrowd the skillet. Cook the pancakes until golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side, turning them over carefully with a slotted metal spatula. Transfer to the tray or platter to drain. Continue with the remaining mixture.
In a small bowl, stir together the crème fraîche or sour cream and dill. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
To serve, transfer the hot potato pancakes to a platter. Spoon a small dollop of the crème fraîche mixture onto each pancake and top with flakes of sturgeon and small spoonfuls of osetra caviar. Serve immediately.**