This recipe makes a small batch of keftes. You can easily adjust it proportionally to make more.
Leek & Potato Pancakes
2-3 large leeks, white part & tender green
a few celery leaves, chopped
1 large frying potato or two medium
¼ c. matza meal
extra virgin olive oil
salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
Trim the leeks and cut them crosswise into 1/4-inch rings. Rinse well in cold water and drain. If the leeks are very sandy you’ll need 2 or 3 changes of water. Roll the cleaned leeks in a towel and gently squeeze it to remove the water.
Pour some olive oil into a small skillet – enough to loosely coat the bottom – and turn the heat to medium. Sauté the leeks just until they are soft and translucent. You can allow some of the leeks to gently brown and crisp, but not all – that will taste bitter. Remove the cooked leeks to a bowl with a slotted spoon, toss in the chopped celery leaves and a sprinkling of salt and mix with a wooden spoon. Drain on paper towels.
Peel & and slice the potato into 1/4″ thick rounds, then cut these into halves or quarters. Add more oil to the skillet, enough to cover the diced potatoes about halfway. Heat over a medium-high flame and add the potatoes. Stir to coat with oil and let them cook gently until they are fork tender, maybe about ten minutes. Whether you brown them or not is up to you. Remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and sprinkle with a little salt & black pepper.
Beat one egg add to it the cooked vegetables, potatoes and matza meal and stir gently with a wooden spoon. Let the mixture rest a few minutes. It is the combination of egg and matza meal that binds everything together. If your mixture is very liquid you can sprinkle in a little more matza meal, or pour off the excess egg. Conversely, if your mixture seems too dry, add the second egg. Shape small, round patties with your hands, lay them on a plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Heat a quarter inch of oil over a medium-high flame – do not let the oil heat to smoking. Reduce the flame to medium and place keftes in the skillet without crowding. Cook them on one side until they hold their shape, then flip to finish cooking on the other side. How much you brown your keftes is up to you – I prefer them pale with a hint of brown. Drain the keftes on paper towels, sprinkle them lightly with salt, and let them rest. Serve warm or at room temperature.