Quite some time ago now, I received a standard "keeping everyone up with the news" type of email from my lovely friend Anneli Faiers - the inspiration behind the wonderful Delicieux blog. In that email was a short piece about Raggmunkar and Kroppkakor, neither of which are ancient Scandinavian gods (although perhaps they ought to be, with names like that!). No, in fact they are potato pancakes and potato dumplings, respectively.
Being a bit of a fan of potatoes, naturally my ears pricked up and I read on. Having read the description and the recipe, I decided that - one day - I would cook one or both of these as they both sounded amazing.
Yes, I can hear your eyebrows going up and down furiously because only a second ago I was attempting to establish some alternatives to potatoes as the carbohydrate element to our meals. I know. However, this week had become an attempt at presenting a balanced selection of meals that both included and avoided potato. So our Raggmunkar day was very much a potato day. And bacon. And baked beans. That's better, I can hear all the menfolk amongst you calming down and order being restored. The rest of you, just attempt to control your leaping eyebrows about the unhealthiness of this recipe, as Raggmunkar are very definitely not going to feature regularly in our diet. However, they are flipping lovely!
In fact, on this very day, I had been sent a snazzy new frying pan (from the Ceracraft range at JML) to review. How fortuitous! Although I did ponder briefly on the wisdom of doing an untried and untested recipe in an untried and untested pan - in the end I figured that what the heck, people do that every day and carried on. I shall wait until I have tried out the pan on a few more recipes before I write my final review - but let's say that things are looking good so far!
I took Anneli's advice and cooked up some bacon (smoked back bacon) and baked beans to go with the Raggmunkar. Hubby's attention was immediately caught at the mention of bacon and, contrary to expectation, was pretty darned keen on the idea of the potato pancakes too! This whole combination - pancakes, bacon, baked beans - is actually right up his street where food is concerned. Not a healthy iota to it, but flavour all the way and a good belly filler. Man food!
The pancake mix for the Raggmunkar is simplicity itself to put together. I used the lovely Jelly potatoes as they're our very favourite of all the potato types available at the moment and they grated up really easily. I also used goat milk instead of cow's milk in the pancake batter, which didn't seem to make any difference to it whatsoever, which is very good. Any time I can exchange cow for goat, I'm there - and my tummy is very grateful for it!
Cooking the pancakes was a total breeze - and not just because of my new non stick pan! They cooked like any other pancake would, apart from taking a little bit longer as you need to hold them in the pan to allow the grated potato to cook through. They even followed the hallowed pancake cooking trend of your first one being complete rubbish, then the pancakes get better from thereon in. By the last one, I reckoned I'd got the hang of both cooking Raggmunkar and my new pan. As you can see, I opted to go for the enormous version, rather than the more dainty, half sized version - or even the "drop scone" sized versions. Well, if you're eating it with bacon and baked beans, it has to be butch!
With the slight sweetness from the milk, the saltiness of the bacon, warmth from the pepper and the robustness that the potato gives, the pancakes have a surprisingly complex flavour. Especially considering their lack of ingredients! However, that's what this sort of cooking is all about - fill up the family for as little cost as possible, as satisfyingly as possible. Well, it certainly hit the spot where all that was concerned. I was totally stuffed by approximately three quarters of mine, hubby was the same, but our teenager with the hollow legs managed to put away two of them! *blink* Awesome!
Do try and make a moment to have a browse through Anneli's blog (at www.delicieux.eu) as she really is a remarkable cook - nay, chef - who definitely knows what people like to eat!
The link for the Raggmunkar recipe is here : http://www.delicieux.eu/?p=1465, I won't set it out on the blog here as I made no real changes to either the ingredients or the method. Anyway, if I can send a few of you in her direction, it might serve as a little thank you for such a great recipe.
As she doesn't appear to have a printable version of the recipe however, if you like it you can come back here and grab the printable version! Can't say fairer than that!