Potato Pancakes with Smoked Sablefish, Creme Fraiche, Pickled Red Onion and Caviar2019-01-23T11:53:26-06:00

Potato Pancakes with Smoked Sablefish, Creme Fraiche, Pickled Red Onion and Caviar

From Glen Manzer

2015 Nov/Dec


Potato Pancakes:

  • 1/2 medium red onion, minced
  • 4 large russet potatoes, washed, grated and rinsed under cold water till the water runs clear
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 3 T. flour
  • salt and pepper
  • canola oil
  • unsalted butter
  • smoked sablefish for serving


Combine onion, potato and eggs and mix well. Add lemon juice and zest and mix well. Stir in flour and salt and pepper, to taste, and let sit for 1/2 hour or longer. Heat a heavy-bottomed fry pan – cast iron works best – and add enough canola oil to cover the bottom of the pan, then add 1 T. butter and heat over high heat until the butter has just stopped sizzling. Stir the potato mixture, scoop out a small handful and squeeze tight to release most of the moisture, then place in the hot pan and flatten a little with the back of a spoon. Cook until crispy, then flip and crisp the other side – about three minutes per side, then drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with the rest of the potato mixture, wiping the pan clean after each batch, adding more canola and butter as required. Keep the pancakes warm.


Simple Pickled Red Onion:

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • sea salt
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T. brown sugar


Combine onion and a generous sprinkling of salt in a non-reactive bowl and let sit 30 minutes. Rinse onions well under cold water and drain. Bring the water, vinegar and sugar to a simmer, then pour it over onions and cool. Refrigerate overnight.


Homemade Crème Fraîche:

  • 1 c. whipping cream
  • 3 T. buttermilk
  • 2 T. lemon juice


Whisk ingredients together in a non-reactive bowl, cover with cheesecloth and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours, or until thickened. Refrigerate for 24 hours and pour off any whey. Whisk before using. This can be made ahead, as it can stay in the fridge for at least a week.

To serve: on a large platter, arrange the warm potato pancakes and a pile of smoked fish. On the side, have small jars of the two condiments for your guests to make their own small plate. When we serve this we also serve it with chilled Northern Divine Canadian Caviar and a bottle of very cold vodka.