With the start of Lent, meatless Fridays have been instituted all over the country. If you live in an ethnic (Polish, Lithuanian, etc) food region, like I do, this only means good things to you.
I never really understood the why of “No Meat On Fridays During Lent” or why fish are acceptable- fish are made out of MEAT. According to www.catholichotdish.com,
“Up until 1966, church law prohibited meat on all Fridays throughout the entire year. The new law was promulgated in 1983 in the revised Code of Canon Law, which states: Abstinence [is] to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Canon 1251)…All persons who have completed their fourteenth year are bound by the law of abstinence” (Canon 1252)…Since Jesus sacrificed his flesh for us on Good Friday, we refrain from eating flesh meat in his honor on Fridays. Flesh meat included the meat of mammals and poultry, and the main foods that come under this heading are beef and pork, chicken and turkey. While flesh is prohibited, the non-flesh products of these animals are not (like milk, cheese, butter and eggs)… Fish do not belong to the flesh meat category. The Latin word for meat, “caro,” from which we get English words like “carnivore” and “carnivorous,” applies strictly to flesh meat and has never been understood to include fish.”
That was honestly the best explanation I could find.
Whatever the reason, I’m here to celebrate the deliciousness we are presented with every year. (I’m skipping the fish, because I just do not care for it.) Of course, our number one FAVORITE Lent food is the pierogie. T and I will assualt you lovely readers with pierogie posts til the day we die. We love them. We love making them from scratch. We love cooking them. We love sharing them. We love eating them. We even love them out of the box when we can’t make them fresh (I’m looking at you, Mrs.T’s). These are standard fare at church fish frys, along with haluski (egg noodles and cabbage with onion and garlic), mac and cheese, clam chowder, and the other piece de resistance, the potato pancake, or latke.
Oh potato pancake, I love you so. I dream of your fried potato-y, onion-y goodness all fall and winter. Last night was our first round for the season, and you were just how I remembered you. The photo is the last one before I ate it. Though this particular batch was made with mashed or riced potatoes, grated potatoes work equally well.
A simple recipe for you to enjoy your own potato pancakes:
(As always, I recommend using a large, shallow cast iron pan like our 15″ Lodge Skillet.)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 medium potatoes
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Peel and shred potatoes. Place in a bowl of very cold water to keep from turning brown.
- In a large bowl, beat together eggs, flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix in potatoes and onion.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- In batches, drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the potato mixture into the skillet. Be careful with hot oil! Press to flatten. Cook about 3 minutes on each side, until browned and crisp.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Serve with sour cream, applesauce, or all alone!