Savory Potato Aebleskivers
The Danish classic aebleskivers consist of mounds of batter that are a rich cross between pancakes and popovers, and often contain fruit fillings. So this rendition surprised me. Yes, it’s my creation, but to fashion a savory version from lentils and potatoes— no eggs, either—well, I was pleased! These make a great starter with any dipping sauce of your choice, or even just some sour cream with a pinch of salt and some coarsely cracked black peppercorns. - Raghavan Iyer
- 1 cup red lentils
- 2 fresh green serrano chiles, stems discarded
- 4 slices fresh ginger (each about the size and thickness of a quarter; no need to peel first)
- 8 ounces Yukon gold potatoes
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh thyme leaves and tender stems
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea or
- kosher salt
- Canola oil, for pan-frying
- Pour the lentils into a medium-size bowl. Cover them with cold water. Agitate them with your fingertips to rinse off any surface dust. Drain off this water. Repeat once or twice more. Cover the lentils with warm water and allow them to soak for about 1 hour.
- Drain the lentils in a colander. Pour 1/2 cup of warm water into a blender jar followed by the lentils, chiles, and ginger. Puree to a smooth light-pink batter speckled with green and brown from the chiles and ginger, scraping the inside of the jar as needed. Scrape this into the bowl you soaked the lentils in.
- Scrub the potatoes under running water. Shred them through the large holes of a box grater, the fine teeth of a mandoline, or the shredding disk of a food processor. As soon as you finish shredding them, add them to the lentil batter along with the onion, thyme, cilantro, and salt. Vigorously beat the batter in a circular motion with a wooden spoon to incorporate some air (which makes the batter lighter), about 2 minutes.
- Line a large plate with several layers of paper towels, for draining the cooked aebleskivers of excess oil.
- Preheat an aebleskiver pan (see Tater Tips) over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, pour 1 teaspoon of oil into each of its indentations. Using 2 teaspoons (the tableware kind—one to scoop, the other to slide it out), spoon a heaping teaspoon of batter into each hole. As the batter cooks and turns reddish brown on the underside, 2 to 4 minutes, use a skewer to loosen it and flip it over. Brown the flipped side as well, 2 to 4 minutes. Tease out the spherical aebleskivers onto the paper towels to drain.
- Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve warm.
Any kitchen store (online or retail) will be able to fill your aebleskiver pan order. Usually available in cast iron, this pan normally has seven indentations. Modern ones now come preseasoned, so working with them cannot be any easier. You can also make aebleskivers in a mini muffin pan. Oil each muffin cup, place the pan in a preheated 400°F oven for 3 minutes to get hot, add a heaping tablespoon of batter, and bake until browned on the underside and ready to be flipped, 2 to 4 minutes. Brown the flipped side for 2 to 4 minutes, remove, and drain the aebleskivers. Enjoy.
Aebleskivers are ideally consumed right away, as their crispness dissipates as they sit. But you can rewarm them in a 250°F oven on a wire rack over a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes.
Yield: 24 Aebleskivers
Chef Raghavan Iyer
Panning The Globe