Тhere are so many tasty potato dishes around the world! That is not surprising since potatoes are a great ingredient for any comfort dish.
In this post I will present you a very delicious potato pie with white cheese named Patatnik. It is a traditional dish around the Bulgarian mountain Rodopi but it is also loved all around the country.
About the dish
It is not clear how and when exactly this recipe has been invented. In fact there are hundreds of different ways to make Patatnik and every small town in Rodopi has its own recipe. In some places the potatoes are wrapped in dough, in other places the Patatnik is baked in a pan on the stove and in other it is baked in the oven. There are also variations in terms of ingredients and their proportions. The most common ingredients that are present in almost all recipes are: potatoes, butter and dried spearmint.
The current recipe is for a very simple Patatnik, popular in all parts of the country.
What ingredients you need
For this recipe you need: potatoes, eggs, onion, butter, salt, dried spearmint and crumbled white cheese. The original cheese is Bulgarian sirene, but it can be substituted by feta or ricotta.
To make a good Patatnik, you need to follow carefully the steps:
The easiest part is to prepare the ingredients: peel and grate the potatoes, squeeze the water out of them, crumble the cheese, prepare the mixture.
Baking (or frying) the Patatnik is not always that easy. The classic way is to bake the mixture on a fraying pan. You need to cook it from both sides, which means you have to invert it. To do this, you have to place a large plate on top of the pan: the same technique as with the Tortilla Española.
Make sure you cook the mixture at a low heat, for about 15 minutes on each side. This would ensure that the Patatnik will not get burned before it is cooked inside.
Ultimately, to ensure it is perfectly cooked, you can also finalise by baking it for 10-15 minutes in the oven, after it has been cooked on each side on the stove.
You can try different variations of this dish without changing too much the ingredients:
- Try adding grated cheese such as kashkaval (the Bulgarian yellow cheese) or another kind
- I personally don't like dried spearmint, so I use savory instead and it tastes great. You can also use chopped parsley.
- Alternatively you can bake the Patatnik just in the oven. This is also a popular way to prepare it. However it won't form the same crust as when baked on the stove.
The recipe was adapted by Gurbetov.
This recipe is easy and uncomplicated so it is a great dinner or lunch when you have little time and ingredients. If you made it, please let me know how it went: I am always happy to receive your feedback!
- 6 medium potatoes
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup / 70 g crumbled cheese sirene, feta or other similar
- 1/2 tbsp dried spearmint
- salt to taste see notes
- 1/2 onion finely chopped
- 3 tbsp/ 45 g butter
- Peel and grate the potatoes in a large bowl. Set them aside for 5 minutes.
- Drain the water from the grated potatoes by taking a handful and squeezing it over the kitchen sink. You don't need to drain all the water, just as much as you can without efforts.
- Add to the bowl with the potatoes the rest of the ingredients, except the butter. Mix very well.
- Place a cast iron or a non stick frying pan over low heat and melt the butter inside. Pour the potato mixture, distribute it evenly and smooth it out on top.
- Cook for about 15 minutes on each side. When you see that the edges start becoming golden brown, it is time to invert. To do that place a large plate upside down on top of the pan. Hold the top of the plate with a kitchen glove. Invert quickly the pan, holding the plate.
- Melt the remaining butter in the pan and then transfer the Patatnik from the plate to the pan, uncooked side to the bottom. Cook for another 15 minutes or until the edges become brown.
- Serve immediately.
- The quantity of salt depends on the kind of cheese you use: if it is salty, consider adding just 1/2 tsp.
- Depending on the type of pan and the kind of potatoes you use, the patatnik might not get cooked perfectly just in the pan. If this seems to be the case, after you cook it in the pan, transfer it to the oven. Bake at 380 degrees F/ 200 degrees C for another 10-15 minutes.
- Alternatively you can bake the mixture only in the oven in a rectangular or round pan, greased very well with butter and lined with parchment paper. It will take about 40 minutes.
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