Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday Morning Breakfast - Sunny Anderson's Potato Pancakes With Bacon And Sage.

Mr. Hawthorne was watching Sunny Anderson on Food Network the other day and saw her making Bacon and Sage Potato Pancakes. We both agreed that they looked and sounded pretty good, so I printed out the recipe and held on to it until this morning, when he actually made the pancakes. (Note: I'm not holding on to the recipe anymore.) When I came back in from picking the sage, Mr. Hawthorne, being uncharacteristically cooperative, had thoughtfully created his mise en place for me to photograph, even though he can't remember the name or pronounce it. And he always bitches about it when I say, "Wait, wait, wait, lemme take a picture!" I guess I've finally worn him down. I'm good at that. Now, Sunny Anderson is not one of my favorite Food Network people. (I can't call them chefs. I refuse to call them stars. I could settle for "annoying personalities." Yeah, that works for me.) And Sunny Anderson is like a black Rachael Ray. While she's cooking/prepping/whatever, she starts telling one of those annoying, grating, and stupid stories that the suits at Food Network encourage them to do - something that has utterly nothing to do with what they're doing and just serves as filler to take up dead air time. Filler does not work in a crab cakes. And it certainly doesn't work in cooking shows. We don't want to hear your cutesy, boring-ass, contrived meanderings. I'm watching a cooking show. I'd like to learn about cooking. I don't want to hear about your Brother Bubba. I don't want to hear about your Gramma Dicey or your Gramma Lorraine. I don't want to hear about your Uncle Bill and whatever Aunt it was that cried over flowers.
(ETA:  It was Aunt PEGGY!) I don't want to hear about the time you were at whatever island in the Caribbean at your friend's parents' house and passed out in your plate at dinner. Oh wait, Sandy. I do want to hear about that. But, you get my drift. But Food Network ain't gonna deliver. No way. No how. Plus, Sunny has started making words up like Rachael does. I forget the actual word, but she was doing a Mexican based meal and she combined two words stupidly (something like tacosagna, I think) for her combo, then harped upon the cuteness of her "word," telling us the origins, and "Get it? Get it?" Yeah, we get it, Sunny. Now get off my TV.
But Kermit (Bob Tuschman) and Medusa (Suzy Fogelson) like this crap. Apparently, they think it's cutting edge entertainment. It is not. Back to breakfast.
Mr. Hawthorne was happily preparing Sunny's potato pancakes this morning, carefully adhering to the printed-out recipe, when he pointed out to me, "Did you know the difficulty level of this dish is intermediate?" Check out the recipe and see for yourself. Intermediate?!!??? You grate, you mix, you fry. Sounds damn simple to me. But then, if you're Sunny, simple things might not appear so simple at times.
He's halving the recipe, by the way. Good thinking, Mr. Hawthorne. First he grated only 2 potatoes.
Then he grated in about 1/3 of the red onion.
And he pressed two garlic cloves into the mix.
Looking good.
He fried up two slices of bacon.
And squeezed the moisture out of the potato mixture.
I like this shot of his chopping the sage leaves.
Well, actually, no.
I like this shot of ME,
shooting the picture 
and being reflected in the knife.
Salt and pepper and sage leaves went into the mix.
Two tablespoons of flour went in.
Action shot!
Mr. Hawthorne chops up the bacon.
Bacon and the egg get added.
A quick toss to mix all together.
Mr. Hawthorne used a cast iron skillet, heated his oil, and I added in some extra sage leaves because I happen to like fried sage leaves.
Then the potato patties went in. Remember, never crowd your pan when frying. Crowding will lower the temperature of the oil and whatever you're frying will not brown nicely.
Fry about two minutes on each side, or until nicely browned, then drain on paper towels.
Doesn't this look good?
Isn't this pretty?
I was really excited about these. Now for the all-important taste test. The fried sage is herby and quite tasty. The potato pancake sucked. I never thought I'd say this, but the bacon really detracted from the pancake. You'd be better served by just frying up the bacon and serving it on the side. And the pancake was not good. Too much filler. Not enough crunch. Mr. Hawthorne was disappointed. I was too. Then he said something that made us both feel a little better: "Tomorrow morning, I'll make my potato pancakes." Ah ... Tomorrow is another day. And it looks like it'll get off to a wonderful start.


Anonymous said...

He fried up two slices of bacon.

I can't be the only one scratching my head wondering, why only 2???? At least fill the pan if you're going to get it dirty, leftover bacon, mmmmm.

Unknown said...

Anytime you fry something in that much grease and have a problem with "not crunchy enough", there are big issues!

Sad that they kinda sucked. I had high hopes for that recipe.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Yeah. I was sad they sucked too, MrsVJW. But hang on till tomorrow when Mr. Hawthorne makes his tatercakes.

And Xmaskatie, he used the bacon pan to fry up the potato pancakes in. But, yes. I agree with you. Should've done the other six slices in the package.

I'd be good with that.

As it was, it was some sorry shit.

Kathy said...

Holy Cow! last time I looked, it was the friend from Hanoi post, then when I got home tonight, there are a half dozen new ones. You been hoarding them?

Rosie Hawthorne said...

"You been hoarding them?"

Yes. Absolutely.

Elyse said...

Oh my goodness! These look delicious! I'm so glad I found your blog; it's absolutely awesome. Talk about some yummy goodness!

Donna-FFW said...

horoughly enjoyed your commentary on Food Network. I find the stories quite annoying also. I also find the shows about traveling and where to eat get on my nerves too. Not many f us have the $$ or means to travel, especially with4 or more kids. I also dont like when they spotlight, say, bazooka. Id much rather learn how to make stuffed flounder or something.Ridiculous. I find I learn more and cook more fromblogs like yours. Although I do admit, and dont hate me, I use Rachal Rays recipes at times.Some are repeaters in my household:)

Hairball T. Hairball said...

"Did you know the difficulty level of this dish
is intermediate?"

That's because the easy rating is reserved for preparing stuff like Hamburger Helper and Rice-A-Roni.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you on Sunny Anderson being like Rachael Ray!
I don't know why people like them have shows on food network.
They are literally all "talk" but no cooking. They cook sooooo messy, and the end results are usually nauseating. WTF! :)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Katherine L. said...

I never liked Sunny Anderson. She's so annoying and cooing, she's almost like a black Sandra Lee. Her recipes don't look bad, but there are a million other cooks or ACTUAL chefs who can cook circles around her, and aren't so grating to watch. All she does is talk about her childhood as a military brat. I still don't understand why "Kermit" and "Medusa" (LOL at that btw, I couldn't have said it better myself!) give people like her or that annoying 10 dollar dinner lady (who can't even cook for beans, IMO) a show. Smh!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Katherine, Sunny is like a black Rachael Ray to me. Don't like either one.