i love cape town: the old biscuit mill favourite

It’s a breakfast for dinner kind of night as we settle in to watch the Olympics opening ceremony.  When I lived in Cape Town, one of the most delicious things I ate was this large potato pancake creation topped with either smoked salmon or bacon, a poached egg, hollandaise sauce (I think) and a sprinkle of chives.  I have no idea what this dish is called but there was a stand at the amazing Neighbourgoods Market on Saturday mornings in the Old Biscuit Mill that made only this one dish and I just had to get it practically every time I went.  I have no idea why this popped into my head today but then I just felt compelled to try and somewhat recreate it tonight with latkes.

Just a note, International brand hollandaise is my go-to cheat for eggs benedict.  Of course nothing packaged will taste like hollandaise made from scratch but it’s totally good for when you don’t want to put in any effort over a double boiler/just don’t want to bother/don’t want to go into a hollandaise coma on the couch.  Also, Rock says he actually prefers our ‘fake sauce’ because he knows what’s in real hollandaise, as in, a whole load of butter and egg yolks.  I’ll write up a post on eggs benny/made from scratch hollandaise another time.

Serves 2

2 – 3 medium-sized russet potatoes  /  4 slices of smoked salmon  /  5 eggs  /  1/4 cup all purpose flour  /  International brand hollandaise sauce mix (you will be needing butter to add to the mix in order to make the sauce)  /  chives  /  canola oil (for frying)

photo 1-1

Peel the potatoes and shred using a box grater.  Squeeze out as much liquid out of the potato shreds as you can with your hands and mix in one egg and the flour.  Season with a bit of salt and pepper.  Heat up about 1/3 inch or so of canola oil in a frying pan over medium high-heat and when the oil is quite hot, shape the potato mixture using your hands into thin cakes and slip into the oil.  Fry until nicely browned and then flip over to fry on the other side.  I like to use two spatulas to kind of sandwich the latke when flipping just because I find it easier.  You should get 4 or 5 latkes but it just depends on the size of your potatoes and how big you make the latkes.  Place the finished latkes on a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm in the oven set to 100F.

photo 2-1

Mix together your hollandaise sauce according to the instructions on the packet (I just kind of eyeball it to make about 1/2 cup of sauce) and then keep warm in the oven.  Soft-poach the eggs, 2 at a time.  If you’re unsure of how to poach eggs, I detail how to make them here in this post.  Now to put it all together.  Top each latke with one slice of smoked salmon and then one poached egg.  Spoon over some of the hollandaise sauce and then snip some chives over top.


I feel very satisfied with my version of one of my favourite foods from my South Africa days.  Now I’m just daydreaming about Cape Town.  Rock says it was surprisingly good because, when I had described what I wanted to make, he thought it sounded like a very weird mix.  But he says he really liked it and the smoked salmon really made it (he’s a real sucker for smoked salmon).  OK, the Sochi animatronic mascots just came out so it’s time to give all my attention to the TV now!


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