These Mushroom Stuffed Potato Zrazy With Satsibeli might perhaps be new to you but I'm hoping that you'll get very familiar with these Ukranian/Georgian treats. They are crispy potato cakes filled with a tasty filling and are served with spicy Satsibeli sauce, similar to a tomato salsa. These get a vegetarian update with a mushroom filling and are actually vegan too. With a crispy potato outer and a delicious filling these are a definite pushy recipe Dear Reader!
I came across potato zrazy from Alice Zaslavsky's new book "In Praise of Veg" which is a gloriously thick tome that celebrates the goodness of vegetables. It rapidly became a bestseller and I love the colour coded sections and detailed description of how to buy and store vegetables as well as a few recipes for each. I was intrigued by the Zrazy which I knew I wanted to eat even before I could figure out how to pronounce it (ZRAG-zii by the way).
Fun fact: your phone will auto correct it to Crazy.
Zrazy is originally a Polish word which means to cut or slice so they are called potato cutlets. They were said to originate from Lithuania but Ukranians and Georgians also make Zrazy.
Alice's recipe switches up the traditional beef filling to a mushroom duxelle. Although the pic shows slices of mushrooms you do want them finely diced. I was initially drawn to the picture of the crispy edged oval shaped potato cakes and even more delighted when I had literally everything that I needed for this in my vege box.
The Satsibeli is a Georgian version of a hot tomato salsa and is also delicious. If you want to go a creamier, non-vegan way, sour cream and chives is also used to accompany zrazy.
Tip for making zrazy: use cold mashed potato with a high butter content without cream or milk. Sometimes mashed potato can be soft and hard to mold if there is a lot of milk added which you don't want in this case. You want a rich, buttery mashed potato so I've provided a recipe for the perfect mash for zrazy below.
Can I make these gluten free or without the flour? I tried to do these without flour and they fell apart in the pan. Having said that I also omitted the egg and there are recipes that use an egg and no flour. I just wouldn't omit both as you do need some sort of binding agent. I chose to omit the egg to make this vegan.
Can I bake these zrazy instead of pan frying them? Yes bake them in a 190C/374F oven for 20 minutes gently turning them over halfway.
And in a fun surprise for you all, Alice and I are giving away four signed copies of her new book In Praise of Veg! Each winner's book will be signed by Alice and personalised to you (or whoever you would like to gift it to).
All you have to do is answer below about what your favourite vegetable is and why! Please hop onto my Instagram account and leave it as a comment or leave a comment below to enter. Each answer is an entry and you can enter once a day. The competition closes at midnight AEST the 8th of April, 2021 and winner will be decided on the most creative answer.
So tell me Dear Reader, what is your favourite vegetable and why for a chance to enter! Have you ever tried zrazi?
P.S. If you want to try making these along with a couple of other dishes from In Praise of Veg, Alice has teamed up with Providoor who will deliver you a box of ingredients and you can join her zoom call to learn how to cook them! This is available in Victoria, NSW, ACT and SA!
Mushroom Stuffed Potato Zrazy With Satsibeli
Adapted from and extracted with permission from In Praise of Veg by Alice Zaslavsky, published by Murdoch Books
Preparation time: 45 minutes (plus cooling time, overnight ideally)
Cooking time: 30 minutes
The potatoes and mushrooms are best made a day ahead
- 600g/21ozs. Dutch cream potatoes
- 150g/5ozs. vegetarian butter
- Salt for seasoning
- 100g/3.5ozs. plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- Oil for frying
- 1-2 tablespoons oil
- 300g/10.6ozs. mushrooms, finely diced
- 2 white onions, peeled and diced
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
- Salt and pepper
- 2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 white onion, peeled
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4 cup finely chopped coriander leaves and stems
- 3 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon harissa paste or chilli sauce (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Step 1 - This recipe is ideally started the night before so that you just shape and fry and make the satsibeli on the day of serving. First make the potato mash. Wash the potatoes and boil until tender. Remove the skin (I use gloves as they'll be hot) and mash with butter and season with salt. Taste for seasoning - these potatoes have got to be rich and delicious on their own. Cool completely and keep in the fridge overnight.
Step 2 - Then make the mushroom duxelles. Add the oil to a frypan and add the mushrooms, onions and garlic and saute for 30-40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. The mushroom duxelle mixture should be dark in colour, dry and intensely delicious. Cool completely.
Step 3 - At this point you should make the satsibeli so that you can serve these zrazy when they have come just out of the pan which is when they're at their absolute best. Combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, coriander, vinegar, harissa, fenugreek, sugar and salt in a food processor and blitz. Test for seasoning. You can also make this the day before and store it in the fridge where it will develop its flavour, it's totally up to you.
Step 4 - Take the cold mashed potato out of the fridge and mix with the flour and white pepper. Have a tray ready. Divide the floured mash into 9-10 balls. Have a bowl of water ready to lightly dampen hands and press out to a 8-10cm/3-4inch round in your palm. Fill with a heaped teaspoon of mushroom or as much as you can fit while being able to close it and then fold over the edges to encircle the filling and shape into a flattened oval. Repeat with the others. At this stage you can cover and refrigerate them and fry them when ready.
Step 5 - To fry, heat oil in frypan on medium heat and add the zrazy to the pan and cook for 4 minutes on each side. Serve with satsibeli. These are also good cold or you can refry these for a minute or two until warmed through.