This recipe for Polish kotlety ziemniaczane na sos pieczarkowy, literally "potato cutlets with meadow mushroom (button mushrooms as opposed to the highly prized borowiki mushroom) gravy," is from Walt Gach of Ohio.
This recipe is a good candidate for leftover mashed potatoes as long as no milk was added when mashing, or you can start from square one. These potato cakes or cutlets make a great meatless main course, side dish or appetizer.
- Potato Cutlets:
- 2 pounds potatoes (russet, peeled, boiled, and mashed)
- 1 large egg (beaten)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup flour (all-purpose)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Optional: 1 teaspoon dried or 1 tablespoon fresh dill
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup bread crumbs (dry, divided)
- 1 cup vegetable oil (for frying)
- Mushroom Sauce:
- 2 ounces mushrooms (dried Polish or porcini)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion (coarsely chopped)
- 8 ounces mushrooms (sliced, fresh or canned; reserve liquid)
- 1 bouillon cube (vegetable or chicken base)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons flour (all-purpose)
Gather the ingredients.
Start the Mushroom Sauce: Place dried mushrooms in a heatproof bowl and pour 2 cups boiling water over. Let steep 1/2 hour. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, saute onion in butter until caramelized. If using fresh mushrooms, add to the saucepan once the onions are translucent. Otherwise, place undrained canned mushrooms in the pan once the onions have fully caramelized.
Using your fingers, lift the dried mushrooms out of their soaking liquid and add to the pan with onions. Carefully add the soaking liquid to the pan, making sure not to disturb the sediment at the bottom. Add base, and salt and pepper to taste (if using canned mushroom liquid, you probably won't need to add any salt). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, 30 minutes.
In a medium bowl, fork blend 2 tablespoons flour into sour cream. Temper the sour cream by adding 3 ladles of hot mushroom liquid, 1 ladle at a time, and whisking until smooth. Slowly pour the tempered sour cream into the mushroom sauce, whisking constantly. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes until thickened and raw flour taste is cooked out. Keep warm.
In a large bowl, combine mashed potatoes, egg, 1/2 to 3/4 cup flour (depending on moisture content of potatoes), salt, dill, if using, and pepper. The potatoes shouldn't stick to your fingers.
Place parchment or waxed paper on a work surface and spread with an even layer of 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Place mashed potatoes on bread crumbs, forming a cylinder about 12 inches long, using the parchment to roll the cylinder in the bread crumbs.
Using a wet knife, cut into 1-inch rounds. Dip each side of the cut ends in the remaining 1/2 cup breadcrumbs so all sides are coated. Let the cutlets dry for 10 minutes before frying.
Add 1/4-inch vegetable oil to a skillet (I prefer a cast-iron skillet for frying foods) and heat over medium. Fry cutlets in batches until golden brown on both sides. Drain briefly on paper towels and serve hot with mushroom sauce on the side. Don't pour the sauce over the cutlets, because it will make them soggy. Diners can mix the two on their own plates!
Source: Walt Gach of Ohio