What’s your favorite carb to accompany your man dish? In Kenya, it’s corn meal (i.e. ugali) and cassava. In Denmark, it’s rye bread (i.e. rugbrød). In Ecuador, it’s potato and rice. Potatoes are extremely popular in the mountain regions of Ecuador, and it was the staple I ate to keep walking in the mountains for weeks. Today, I’m making some Ecuadorian-style potato pancakes with jalapeno & cheddar to snack on the delicious “pick-me-up” carb during a Halloween walking tour in San Francisco.
To start, I cook 4 large potatoes (cubed) in salted boiling water until tender. Then, I drain water and mash the potato with a fork in a bowl. Then, I mix the mashed potato with ½ cup cheddar cheese (grated), 2 fresh jalapeno chili (chopped), 4 Tablespoons cilantro (chopped), ½ small red bell pepper (chopped), 2 eggs, juice from ½ lemon & 1 teaspoon sea salt. Then, I flatten a tablespoonful of the potato pancake mixture by hand and dust it with flour. Subsequently, I beat 4 eggs and coat the dusted potato pancake mixture with the eggs. Finally, I preheat three finger’s depth of grape seed oil over medium high heat and fry the potato pancakes until they turn crispy golden brown.
I am pairing this cheesy potato pancake with a 2009 Penascal Estate Tempranillo Rose from Valladolid, Spain. Loaded with black cherry, strawberry, and plum aromas and flavors, this medium-bodied dry rose is perfect for the hot, cheesy potato pancake. Not only does the sweet balsamic notes of the wine pair well with the cilantro and the mildly spicy jalapeno of the potato pancake, but the rose’s pure, refreshing taste also cleans out the rich flavor of the cheddar cheese. This pairing is like quenching your thirst on a hot summer day. You heat up and then cool down. It’s like playing with fire and ice in your mouth! What a great dish and wine to energize a cool autumn day.
Enjoy the taste of Ecuador and the pairing with a food-friendly Tempranillo Rose from Spain this Fall! Happy cooking.