Summer’s bounty is in full swing and I’m taking full advantage of it. I think August is the best time at the farmers’ markets. You find all sorts of gorgeousness there. But this August it’s Ramadan and the fasts are longggg and you don’t feel like making anything elaborate because of your lack of energy. I’m trying my best to keep as many as I can, but to be honest it’s hard. I know complaining is very shallow, but I love my food.
This year we’ve only had one proper Pakistani fast-breaking meal and that was at my in-laws’ house. Maybe these last two weeks we’ll make a more a bigger effort. After all, who doesn’t love opening their fast with pakoras, chaat, samosas, and other fried goodness. I hope to make some Ramadan speciality for my next post. This one could be seen as a pseudo-pakora. Not really, but at least I tried. Potato pancakes are definitely a favorite with me. You can be a purist and keep them basic or the sky is the limit with options you can add to them.
Since corn season is in full swing, I decided to add corn to them. When the sweet corn slightly roasts while frying in the potato cake, it’s a beautiful thing. I also took inspiration from an older post of mine where I made cornmeal cakes and added jalapeño and queso fresco into these potato pancakes. They’re a perfect appetizer or fast-breaking snack. Add some mashed avocado on top and you’ll be a very happy person.
Potato Pancakes with Corn, Jalapenos, and Queso Fresco
neutral-flavored vegetable oil of your choice, for frying
2 cups shredded potatoes, I used Yukon Gold (squeeze excess water from them using a kitchen towel)
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 jalapeño pepper, minced finely, seeds and ribs removed if you like
1/2 cup shredded queso fresco or Monterey Jack cheese, you can add as much or as little as you like
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
zest of 1 lime
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
optional: smashed avocado mixed with some lime juice and salt, for garnish
Combine the potatoes with the corn, jalapeño, herbs, cheese, and lime zest. Mix in the flour and crack in the egg and combine. Season with salt and black pepper.
Heat a large frying pan with oil on medium heat and add about a 1/4 cup of the potato mixture and form into a free-form patty and put it into the pan. Fry on each side for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown on each side. When cooked, drain excess oil on a paper towel. Serve warm with smashed avocado, and garnish with jalapeño rounds, cilantro, and chives, optional.
*Be careful when frying the potato cakes, the corn might pop slightly. You may have to reduce the heat slightly.