When presented with a recipe for a potato pancake, I’ll always need to ask: Is it or is it not a latke? The recipe for “Leitrim Boxty,” as considered on The Daily Spud, includes 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, about 5 oz. flour, and 1/4 tsp. baking soda, which my latke recipe -- or hash browns, for that matter -- wouldn’t use. This batter is very wet; the pancakes must be very thin if you hope to have crispness. These pancakes exalt the liberal use of butter. This is their distinction.

I did include some shredded Pecorino cheese in the batter. I fried these wet pancakes in lots of butter, as encouraged by the recipe. I even garnished the cooked pancakes with a dab of truffle butter. Yikes! All this was fun and indulgent, but I’ll stick with drier and crisper potato pancakes from now on.

An odd pairing with my potato pancakes was the “Pea and Red Lentil Curry,” from the April 2005 issue of Vegetarian Times. Curries are marvelous stews that are easily vegetarian and are often too spicy for my young child.

Notice that this recipe has a tame list of ingredients, however. I was pleased to find it was sweet, thick, hearty, and satisfying. The inclusion of dried mango, raisins, shredded coconut, mango chutney -- and indeed coconut milk -- were calming. I added 2 tsp. kosher salt to this curry.

PRICES
Russet Potatoes (2.19 lbs.) = $2.24

RECIPES: how do you like your potato pancakes: crisp or buttery? And do you fancy a sweet curry?
PREP TIMES:
grating the potatoes, then frying and flipping and frying some more, could add up to an hour of your time; the curry needs less time than this
TASTES: the pancakes will make you think of the butter they were fried in; the curry, though not spicy, includes a bold array of sweet flavors

Let’s stay on this vegetarian road, and next time enjoy the “Hearty Vegetable Pot Pie,” as put forth by Nava Atlas at vegkitchen.com. See my version when you come back to my site on Friday, January 21.