Ode to the Potato

by Olga Schafranek |

I consider myself a bit of a foodie. Real foodies probably don’t say that out loud. Regardless, I’ve tried countless unique, adventurous, and innovative dishes. However, if I were told to only pick one thing to eat for the rest of my life, it would most definitely be the not-so-glamorous potato. I could eat potato in all its abundant varieties and forms, forever. Don’t tell the diet fad followers and starch haters of the world, please. I like quinoa too, guys. Relax.
But, potatoes…the love is real. I could seriously tell you at least five relatively interesting stories from my life that have something to do with potatoes. At least they start or in some way include potatoes. So, not only do I constantly want to eat potatoes, but my use of them as a conversation starter or reviver is surprisingly frequent, as well.

There is a breakfast and lunch place in my California hometown that serves the best hash browns ever. I always fit in a breakfast (or ten) when I am out there. Going to Christie’s to order hash browns is pretty much my first thought every morning during family visits. So, it’s no shock that I was itching to try out the Tsar Nicoulai Estate Caviar’s ‘Traditional Signature Bite’ – a potato pancake, or latke, topped with the caviar. If you didn’t already know, each caviar and infused roe comes with three suggested ways to serve, or “Signature Bites” – traditional, classic and luxe.

The Estate Caviar’s rich, clean taste and creamy finish pairs well with potato latkes and sour cream. Like most great caviar, it tastes delicious on its own, but the combination of flavors and textures here is divine.

This dish is perfect as an hors d’oeuvre for a dinner party at home. Because they taste better served immediately, I would reserve this recipe for more intimate parties to save you some stress. Or forget the guests, find a private moment, and eat them all on your own like me. No judgement.

Potato Latkes with Sour Cream and Caviar (makes about one dozen)

Adapted from a recipe on the LA Times website


4 large yellow potatoes, peeled
1 large onion, grated
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 eggs
3 tablespoons flour
Pinch of baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sour cream
Tsar Nicoulai Estate Caviar (about 2 ounces)
Parsley for additional garnish, optional

1. Grate the potatoes using a food processor or fine grater. Transfer shredded potatoes to a large bowl. The original recipe I used as a guide called for Russet potatoes, but I just love yellow potatoes. I found them to be a tad moist, so I kind of squeezed them a little in a paper towel before adding the rest of the ingredients.



2. Add onion, lemon juice, eggs, flour, baking soda, salt, and pepper to the potatoes. Mix well.

 3. Heat a 1/8 inch of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Using a large spoon, scoop batter onto hot skillet, and flatten latkes with the back of the spoon. Cook on 1 side just until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, then turn and cook the other side.

4. The recipe also said to turn once only. I have ZERO ability to do this. I always end up checking and flipping extra. I tried really hard this time to only flip once, but I would be lying if I said a few were not flipped two or three times. They still came out delicious.

5. Drain well on paper towels. Top with sour cream and caviar. Add a parsley leaf for some color if you’re feeling extra fancy.

This recipe makes about a dozen latkes. The amount will vary depending on how small or large you make them. Smaller is better for a dinner party hors d’oeuvre. Depending on how much you prefer on top, you probably want at least two ounces of caviar for the above recipe. You may want a more even potato to caviar ratio than I have pictured to really enjoy the flavor of the caviar. Either way - there’s always just a spoon for any extra.


To order Estate Caviar and enjoy this Traditional Signature Bite, click here.

Na Zdorovye!