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Potato Pancakes with Cabbage & Apple Compote by Chef Doug Katz

by Ashley Weingart

This week Chef Doug Katz invited us into his beautiful home in Cleveland Heights to talk food and to make food. We brought him a box of our Perfectly Imperfect Produce and he cooked up a delicious, hearty meal for his family. (Well we snuck a few bites first, sorry Katz family.) Today we're showing you how he transformed the local cabbage, potatoes and apples from this week's rescues into Potato Pancakes with Sautéed Cabbage and Apple Compote, so you can recreate it in your own home. Dinner - from Doug Katz's kitchen to yours.

Here in Cleveland, Doug Katz is pretty much a household name among foodies who adored his fabulous flavors at Fire Food & Drink in Shaker Square. And while Fire recently shut its doors for good after nearly 20 years, Doug certainly hasn't hung up his chef's hat. In fact, he's on fire (pun intended). Chef Doug Katz likens the role of a chef to being a little like an actor, or maybe more like a director. He's behind the scenes in the kitchen choreographing the show on stage out front, each dish a new scene. If Doug is the playwright, the three new restaurants he opened this year are the new stars of his colorful production.

Chimi, South American inspired cuisine, Zhug, Middle Eastern Mezze, Chutney B and Amba, Indian inspired cuisine, are all available for curbside pickup and delivery. While some may find this new collection of global inspired flavors new for Katz, his former Fire regulars feel right at home. Katz put on many ethnic dinners over the years there, beginning with Indian meals he created in partnership with a local Indian woman who taught him her family's food secrets. He told us the reason he wanted to open Fire was because of the tandoor oven, but he just needed some guidance on how to maximize its potential. These ethnic dinners allowed him to do just that. And now in his new restaurants he's able to dive deeper into these rich cultures and flavors.

Katz makes really good food, but he's also just a really good guy. I went there expecting for him to whip up something real quick before he headed out to do deliveries for his restaurants (yes he really does that). But three hours later we were still there hanging out at his kitchen island talking about how his youth as a "fat kid who loved eating and theater" morphed into him becoming a chef. We even discovered that his mom once dated my husband's uncle, coincidentally. Small world.

Doug Katz may enjoy cooking global inspired flavors in his new restaurants, but in his home (at least on this day) he is still cooking up his own tried and true comfort foods for his wife and two children. He's often using the very Le Creuset pan his mom cooked up all those delicious meals in that caused Doug to want to be a chef in the first place. Here's the masterpiece Mr. Katz created using the contents of this week's Perfectly Imperfect Produce box.

Potato Pancakes with Cabbage & Apple Compote


For The Cabbage

2 Perfectly Imperfect onions

1/2 a head of Perfectly Imperfect green cabbage

4 radishes

2 oz. olive oil (not extra virgin) or sunflower oil

1 bay leaf

2 thyme sprigs

a pinch of paprika

For the Apple Compote

8 small Perfectly Imperfect apples (or 4 large)

a pinch of salt

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 cup cane sugar

1/4 cup apple cider

juice from 1/2 lemon (about 3 Tbsp.)

For the Potato Pancakes

3 large potatoes

3 eggs

3 Tbsp. flour

salt and pepper to taste

a pinch of paprika

4 to 6 oz. sunflower oil

sour cream

Optional Protein of your choice (sausage, brats, pork tenderloin, turkey)


For the Cabbage

The cabbage will need nearly an hour to simmer, so we'll start there. First slice both onions into a julienne. Now add the oil to a pan and place over medium heat. Doug suggests using heavy sauce pans or soup pots for this. Tin skillets are better for boiling water. You'll know when the oil is ready when it ripples. Add the onions and a pinch of salt right away to draw out the moisture. Stir with a wooden spoon. Cover it and let it stew.

Next chop your cabbage into thin slices. Doug likes to use a bit of the core of the cabbage because it is the sweetest part. Add the cabbage to the pot with the onions along with your herbs and spices. Next slice your radishes into half moons, add to the pot and cover it. Let it simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf and thyme before serving.

For the Apple Compote

Peel and core the apples, chop into wedges, remove the seeds and chop into cubes.

Add them all to a medium sized pot and then add all your other ingredients; salt, cinnamon, sugar, cider and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and cook for a half hour. Don't over stir. You want to let the sugar caramelize.

For the Potato Pancakes

We'll be preparing this in batches one potato at a time. Each batch makes about 10 small pancakes. Don't soak the potatoes in water. You want to use them fresh because you want the starch from the potato to help hold the pancake together. Using a box grater, grate 3/4 of one of the onions. Next peel the potatoes and grate one of them.

Add 1 egg to the bowl plus 1 Tbsp. of flour, a pinch of salt and pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Stir it all together with a fork. Add the oil to a pan and get it hot. Place the potatoes in the pan in little piles, don't smush them down yet. It's best to do many smaller pancakes rather than fewer large ones as they cook through more thoroughly. Cook them until lightly browned on the bottom, then flip and smoosh them down. Place on a paper towel on top of a paper bag to absorb the excess oil. Repeat this with additional potatoes, one at a time.

For the Sausage

Sear the brats in 2 oz. oil. Finish in the oven and cook to 165 degrees. Let rest for 5 minutes and then slice.

Serve all the items together first by plating the cabbage and placing the sausage on top. Next add the pancakes to the side and top with the apple compote and a dollop of sour cream.

We hope you'll recreate Doug's tasty dinner at home for your own family. And as always, please tag us @perfectlyimperfectproduce so we can reshare how you're getting creative with our produce in your own kitchen. Tag @chefdouglaskatz too so he can see what you're up to.

Stay tuned for some useful new content we will be creating with Chef Katz in a new partnership to help you learn more of his tips and tricks in the kitchen.

Recipes by Doug Katz, Chimi, Zhug, Chutney B and Amba.

Photos by Karin McKenna,

Article by Ashley Weingart, Founder & CEO, Perfectly Imperfect Produce

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