The Daring Cooks’ February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax & Lis and they chose to present Patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness! We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties!
My choice of patties for the challenge? Algerian potato patties, also known as, maakoud. They were the first thing that came to mind when I saw the challenge....actually no, I lied. These chickpea patties were the first thing that came to mind, but I couldn’t just re-make them for the challenge. That would kind of be like cheating, and I can’t be breaking the rules just yet. After all, this is my first Daring Cooks challenge, and I have to set a good name for myself :D
Okay okay, jokes aside, I would never cheat on a challenge because I would just be cheating myself out of learning something new. And although maakoud isn’t something new to me since I grew up eating it, cooking it is definitely something new. It’s one of those things that I never really bothered asking my mom to teach me because it looked so easy; nothing a simple phone call to her wouldn’t cover if I ever needed the recipe.
It turns out, it is as easy as it looks; you just need to be careful during the frying and the flipping. First of all, make sure your oil is hot enough, because if it's not, your patty will break apart. I don’t use a fancy shmancy thermometer for this and neither should you; just sprinkle some flour on the oil and if it floats and sizzles, then the oil is hot enough.
Second of all, make sure the edges of your patty are golden brown before you flip it. I’m talking real golden brown here; not somewhat golden brown, beige or tan. If you flip your patty over before it is the right golden brown, it will also break apart. The potato mixture will then disintegrate into your oil and ruin it for the rest of the patties. So heed my words.
And last but not least, make sure you allow the potato patties to cool down before eating them. I know they look amazing and you can’t wait to bite into their crispy, crunchy outside and perfectly spiced, smooth, tender inside, but I promise you will enjoy them so much better when they’re not scalding the roof of your mouth. I speak from experience.
Algerian Potato Patties (Maakoud)
Ingredients:4 medium sized potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 small onion, chopped
½ cup finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon black pepper
flour, for rolling patties
oil, for frying
Directions:In a large bowl, mix together the mashed potatoes, chopped onion, chopped parsley, salt, spices and egg until thoroughly combined.
Pour some flour into a shallow pan. Using a 1/8 cup, scoop out rounds of the potato mixture and drop into the flour. Gently roll the rounds in the flour, lightly coating on all sides. Using your hands, form the rounds into balls, then gently flatten them out into patties.
Heat about a cup of oil in a large skillet or frying pan. To test the temperature of the oil, sprinkle some flour on the oil and if it floats and sizzles, then the oil is hot enough to start frying the patties. Carefully transfer the patties to the skillet.
Cook the patties until their edges turn golden brown, then flip them over and continue to cook them until browned on the bottom. Remove patties from skillet with a slotted spatula and allow them to drain on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
Serve warm as a side dish, appetizer, or in a sandwich.