Sunday, 26 August 2012

Olympic Food Challenge: Belarus - Draniki

I've not really been on top of Tonight's Menu since the end of the Olympic Food Challenge.  I put that down to a number of factors.  Firstly, no sooner had the challenge ended than we went on holiday.  I try not to blog on holiday, it's hardly social and possibly rude to lock myself away and type whilst visiting family.  Secondly, since returning to Leeds, we have mostly been eating leftovers and not cooking.  This does not make for good reading.

Thirdly and the saddest reason of them all, the Olympic Food Challenge remains unfinished.  The other bloggers involved and I all cooked like demons, but real life got in the way and so around forty countries remain uncooked.  In the last week I have reallocated the outstanding nations and the challenge is now back on.  We are now aiming to complete the set by the end of the Paralympics.

To get the ball rolling I discovered a Belarusian potato pancake that just had "eat me when hungover" written all over it.  Draniki is made with a mixture of seasoned grated potato and egg which is then fried and served.  Sounds great.  It wasn't.  Either my potatoes were the wrong type or I'm just not keen on draniki.  The grating, using the small side of the grater as shown on the instructions, left me with what can best be described as potato slurry.  Adding an egg didn't help matters nor did the instruction to drain the potato water which came after the instruction to add the egg.

The resulting batter did fry well.  As with all pancakes, the first few were not quite right and the last ones were a little burnt due to the variances in pan heat.  Unlike normal pancakes these were not yummy.  The potato didn't cook through and they remained watery.  Grating an onion didn't help my hangover either.  Luckily, a couple of sausages and a cracking slice of bacon, all from B&J Callard's on Kirkgate Market, came to the rescue.

It was the Belarusian pair of Azarenka and Mirnyi that beat Andy Murray and Laura Robson to the Olympic Gold medal in the Tennis Mixed Doubles.  I can only imagine that they didn't start that day with a plate of draniki.  If they did then they are better athletes than I give them credit for.

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