Cajun Kraut Cakes
For most of my life I’d been dead set against instant just-add-water pancake mix. My wife and son Max had me see the light, after all who wants to store part of an egg when you need to make only one pancake. So I started to do what I usually do, see what I could use a new ingredient to do and stretch its possibilities.
In the late summer we now make fried green tomatoes with pancake batter and cornmeal, which is so much more easy and fun. But it’s spring, with none in sight, so I dug around in my fridge until I found…sauerkraut. I was surprised by how good they were, and came up with the perfect condiment using a stellar verde hot sauce from our friends at Primo’s Peppers.
Southern culture is very stealth German (chicken fried steak is schnitzel for example), so it ended up being a great fit in more ways than one.
Cajun Kraut Cakes
1 cup complete pancake mix (the just-add-water kind)
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cups sauerkraut (the best will have just cabbage and salt as ingredients, and will be in the refrigerated section)
1 Tbsp Bluegrass N12
Oil for frying (I prefer high heat sunflower or safflower)
Optional: 1 teaspoon ground fennel
1 cup full fat greek yogurt, labneh, or sour cream (if sour cream choose one without additives)
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 tsp lemon juice
Optionally, top with a bit of Shabazi, and/or add some chopped capers, some horseradish, mustard, etc.
Mix together the ingredients for the sauce and refrigerate.
In a skillet heat 1/4" of oil over medium high heat.
Mix the dry ingredients together with the sauerkraut, adding water if necessary to obtain a thick batter
Portion out heaping 1/4 cup portions of the batter, and flatten into cakes in the skillet, frying each side until crisp, 3-4 minutes. Add oil as necessary to keep 1/4" in the pan. Drain on paper towels on a wire rack, and serve while still hot.
Variations & Ideas Keep the pancake mix but play with the spices and ingredients, try: Ground juniper, potato and onion shredded and squeezed dry, and sauerkraut, fry in duck or goose fat and serve with a mustard cream sauce sub finely chopped kimchi for sauerkraut, cornmeal, scallion, frozen corn, Noga, fry in oil and serve with shoyu, vinegar, and sesame caraway, grated dill pickle, sauerkraut, rye breadcrumbs, fry in chicken fat and/or butter and serve with thousand island dressing grated yamaimo, chopped hotdogs, Vadouvan, sauerkraut, fry in oil and serve with curry ketchup and mayonnaise • When green tomatoes are in season you can make, Fried Green Tomatoes, the inspiration for this recipe. • Make the batter as above and use to coat slices of chilled and set polenta. When fried the crust protects the delicate curd of the polenta, which becomes creamy. Polenta can be easily made in a pressure cooker and the sky's the limit when it comes to spices, both in the polenta and in the batter. Try Luberon!
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